F1 Testing: George Russell fastest for Mercedes on 2019's final day
Mercedes' championship-winning W10 quickest again in Abu Dhabi, this time with George Russell at the wheel; Leclerc ends 2019 with crash into barriers
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 04/12/19 3:48pm
George Russell gave Mercedes' double title-winning car the perfect send-off by topping 2019's final day of track running in Abu Dhabi.
Russell remains a Williams driver but is also a Mercedes junior and drove the W10 for the second time in testing this year, ending the two-day 2020 tyre test with a best time of 1:37.204.
The 21-year-old completed 145 laps, nearly the equivalent of three Abu Dhabi GP race distances.
Charles Leclerc was second quickest for Ferrari, two tenths behind, but his day ended slightly early after 103 laps when he lost control over the kerb at Turn 14 and crashed into the barriers.
Lance Stroll was third for Racing Point.
Wednesday's running saw Esteban Ocon complete his second day in Renault's RS19 on his return to the team.
The Frenchman added 128 laps to his haul of 77 from Day One and went a second faster than his Tuesday time.
Ocon finished sixth fastest.
"Today, especially, was very productive; it was probably worth two days of testing," said the Frenchman, whose fitness and feedback was praised by Renault's sporting director Alan Permane. "We worked through a lot of things, which was very useful. I was getting used to everything again and growing more comfortable on each run. There were some important details cleared on my side and we also identified some areas we need to work on over the winter."
All 10 teams completed more than 100 laps, with Williams splitting their running between 2020 race driver Nicholas Latifi and testing debutant Roy Nissany.
Leclerc's unfortunate finish to 'unforgettable' year
The success of the Monegasque's first season at Ferrari has proved one of 2019's biggest stories, but his year on track officially ended with a collision against the Yas Marina barriers.
Leclerc, who missed the final two hours owing to the car damage, said: "This was our last day on track and I think it was useful, despite the accident which meant I had to stop early.
"We did a lot of comparison testing of the 2020 tyres up against this year's and acquired a lot of data which will now be analysed in depth.
"Now we can switch off for a while, but I will never forget my first season with Scuderia Ferrari and I'm sure that it won't be long until I want to be back on track."
Abu Dhabi Test Day Two Timesheet
|1. George Russell||Mercedes||1:37.204||145|
|2. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:37.401||103|
|3. Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:37.999||132|
|4. Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:38.166||146|
|5. Carlos Sainz||McLaren||1:38.729||112|
|6. Esteban Ocon||Renault||1:38.950||128|
|7. Alexander Albon||Red Bull||1:39.181||139|
|8. Pietro Fittipaldi||Haas||1:39.682||135|
|9. Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:39.811||115|
|10. Nicholas Latifi||Williams||1:40.188||107|
|11. Roy Nissany||Williams||1:43.892||38|