F1 Testing: Valtteri Bottas on top as Esteban Ocon starts Renault career
Bottas beats Vettel as F1 drivers return to Yas Marina for two-day test to finish 2019; Ocon describes first day in Renault as "fantastic"
Last Updated: 03/12/19 5:27pm
Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets on the first day of the Abu Dhabi test on Tuesday as several of F1's leading names returned to the track, while Esteban Ocon officially started his Renault career.
Mercedes were quickest throughout the Abu Dhabi GP and their domination extended into the post-season as Bottas finished eight-tenths ahead of his closest rival, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, on a day which was largely focused around testing next season's tyres.
Bottas set the pace on this year's soft tyre, while Vettel posted his fastest time on a 2020 prototype as both drivers completed well over 100 laps on their last days of track action of the year.
The duo are handing over to George Russell and Charles Leclerc respectively on Day Two.
But Vettel's last run in Ferrari's inconsistent SF90 wasn't entirely trouble-free - the German had a rare F1 Test collision after making contact with Sergio Perez at Yas Marina's chicane before spinning.
Daniil Kvyat finished third on Tuesday, ahead of Perez, as well as Romain Grosjean and McLaren's Lando Norris.
Max Verstappen was also in action for Red Bull after an impressive 2019 campaign, with the Dutchman finishing two seconds off the pace but racking up more laps than anyone (153).
Ocon delighted to start Renault career
It was a momentous day for Ocon, the highly-rated Frenchman who is returning to the F1 grid next year with Renault after being forced to sit out a season in 2019.
On his first day as an official Renault driver, Ocon, who is replacing Nico Hulkenberg, finished eighth and completed 77 laps
"It's a fantastic feeling to be back," Ocon, who enjoyed two impressive years with Racing Point before becoming Mercedes' reserve driver this year.
"I was so excited for today, I've been waiting for that day for months and finally it happened. It was a good first impression,"
Ocon is taking part in both days of testing for the French team.
Ahead of his day in the Mercedes, Russell split shifts in the Williams with Israeli youngster Roy Nissany.
Nissany was slowest on Day One, behind Kimi Raikkonen and F2 driver Sean Geleal.
Abu Dhabi post-season test timesheet: Day 1
|Toro Rosso||Daniil Kvyat||1:38.183||72|
|Racing Point||Sergio Perez||1:38.434||120|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||1:39.926||153|
|Alfa Romeo||Kimi Raikkonen||1:40.903||93|
|Toro Rosso||Sean Geleal||1:41.640||67|