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Ferrari occupies top three positions in final test as Formula 1 wraps up 2022

Ferrari filled the top three spots on the timing screens in Formula 1’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, as the sport looked to the future with both grand prix veterans and newcomers taking up employment with new employers.

Carlos Sainz was fastest for Ferrari ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, with both regular racers taking turns driving the one F1-75 car and focusing on Pirelli’s 2023 tyres.

Israeli test driver Robert Shwartzman was third in the other Ferrari, completing 116 laps, the equivalent of two Grand Prix distances.

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Spain’s two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, 41, made his track debut with Aston Martin after leaving the Renault company Alpine, while 35-year-old Nico Hülkenberg began his comeback at American Haas.

“Today was about learning the tires for 2023, learning their characteristics and with these test days you have a little more time to try things out,” said Hulkenberg, whose last full season was with Renault in 2019.

“I did better than expected to be honest so that’s good,” he added of his fitness. “There are now three months of hard preparation to prepare, I have a plan and I know what to do.”

Australian rookie Oscar Piastri tested for McLaren alongside 2023 teammate Lando Norris, while Frenchman Pierre Gasly took up residence at Alpine following his move from Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri, who welcomed Dutch driver Nyck de Vries in his place.

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“We did a lot of laps and experimented a lot, and that’s exactly what it’s all about today. I have a good idea where I can improve next year,” said Piastri.

“I really enjoyed it, it’s nice to finally get back on track and experience the 2022 cars.”

Gasly was fourth fastest, with Red Bull’s two-time world champion Max Verstappen fifth after taking over the car from teammate Sergio Perez.

De Vries covered the most distance with 152 laps from Yas Marina.

Australian youngster Jack Doohan, son of motorcycle great Mick, also tested for Alpine, while New Zealander Liam Lawson drove a full day in the two-title Red Bull RB18.

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