Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Friday November 24
Location: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
Layout: 5.281-kilometer (3.281-mile), 16-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Mostly Sunny / Clear
Drivers: Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen & Oliver Bearman
Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:
Magnussen: 19th overall (1:27.462), 26 laps completed
Bearman: 20th overall (1:27.569), 24 laps completed
Fastest: George Russell of Mercedes (1:26.072)
Free Practice 2 (FP2) Rundown:
Magnussen: 17th overall (1:26.413), 18 laps completed
Hulkenberg: 20th overall (1:27.147), 7 laps completed
Fastest: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari (1:24.809)
Round 23 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – the season finale, commenced with practice on Friday as teams prepared for Sunday’s 58-lap Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team lined up with Kevin Magnussen and Oliver Bearman participating in the opening 60-minute practice session. Bearman, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, was present to fulfil the team’s second mandatory rookie slot – the 18-year-old combining this with his driving commitments in the final round of the Formula 2 Championship this weekend.
With Hulkenberg sitting out FP1 this time around, Bearman followed up his first outing in Mexico last month with another assured performance in Abu Dhabi – the British racer completing the team’s run plan utilizing sets of the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium and Red soft tires. Bearman completed 24 laps with a best lap on the soft rubber of 1:27.569 (P20). Magnussen finished one place ahead in P19 with his fastest lap, a 1:27.462, also delivered on the Red compound after an initial baseline run on the Yellows. Both drivers ran high-fuel laps to close out FP1.
Hulkenberg returned for FP2 – the session hosted under the lights around the Yas Marina Circuit – the 17:00 local start time mirroring that of Sunday’s race start time. Track running was thwarted early on however as an off from Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz a handful of minutes in was followed by a lengthy barrier repair.
Just 25-minutes remained when the track returned to green but an off at the exit of Turn 1 by Hulkenberg brought a second stoppage period – his VF-23 suffering rear-wing damage in contact with the barrier, the German’s session over before it had truly begun. Hulkenberg and Magnussen were aiming for soft runs before the incident – neither able to set a lap. Magnussen ran a heavy-fuel load on mediums for the final 15-minutes of green flag conditions, the Dane’s earlier 1:26.413 medium tire lap placing him P17.
“I’m really happy to have completed another FP1 and rack up more miles in a Formula 1 car, I’ll never complain about that. It was a positive session, I built up step-by-step, the car felt good underneath me and we completed the program – that’s what I’m here to do. I think the team are happy, but I couldn’t debrief with them as I had to go back to Formula 2 afterwards, so that’s what I’m doing this evening.”
“In FP2 we didn’t get a lap on the soft tire, so prior to the red flag I was P4, so not too bad. It’s hard to tell where we truly stack up until tomorrow, so we’ll see. We didn’t learn anything on the soft tire since we didn’t run it, so we chose to go out for a longer run on the medium compound whereas others went out on a short run on softs, so at least we got more laps than others on the mediums.”
“It was a mistake on my side – driver error – I just wanted a bit too much, too soon. I lost the car, it wasn’t a big impact, but it ended my session, so it’s been a very short day in general with only one lap on the board as I didn’t drive FP1 either. FP3 is in the daytime with much hotter track temperatures, so it’s not really representative and not great in terms of learning for the car, but it will be useful for me to feel comfortable in the car.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“In FP1 we went through our test program and Oliver did a good job like he did in Mexico, it was a very solid, very stable drive. FP2 was a little bit of a disrupted session with two red flags, one caused by us with Nico being a bit too optimistic going into Turn 1 on new soft tires. This meant Kevin couldn’t put a lap in on his new softs and therefore we chose to put him on a long run. There’s still a lot to do for tomorrow before we can be ready for the race. As usual, over one lap I don’t think we’re too far off, but on the long runs, we’ll struggle.”
Saturday November 25 – Final practice runs 14:30-15:30 local time before Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying 18:00-19:00.
Haas F1 Team PR