( PR4US.com | Press Release | 2020-12-11 20:55:39 )
The 17th and final round of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with practice on Friday at Yas Marina Circuit as teams prepared for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
2021 Haas F1 Team driver Mick Schumacher made his grand prix debut participating in FP1 – Kevin Magnussen stepping aside from the session to allow the newly crowned F2 Champion his opportunity behind the wheel of the VF-20.
After an install lap on the Pirelli P Zero White hard tire, Schumacher turned another seven laps on the compound for a baseline run around the 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn circuit. Switching to a set of Red soft tires, Schumacher set his fastest lap of 1:41.235 – 18th quickest in the session. The German finished his outing with a high-fuel stint on the same set. Fittipaldi worked with the team on a planned 2021 development program to start his track activities. He utilized two sets of tires, the Yellow mediums and Red softs, but was never on low-fuel in the session – the Brazilian classifying 19th on the timesheet.
Kevin Magnussen returned for FP2 as the session blended from dusk to night under the floodlights at Yas Marina. Together with Fittipaldi he ran a set of Pirelli C4 prototype tires to start the evening session. Magnussen followed that up with a stint on the mediums before going for a qualifying simulation on the softs. The Dane clocked a 1:38.504 lap – good for 16th overall. Fittipaldi’s second outing came on the hard rubber before he too ran the softs, setting a 1:39.027 lap to place 19th fastest. Both drivers ended the day attempting long-runs – the session compromised however by a red flag stop for the stricken Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen.
Haas F1 Team ran a total of 107 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 49 by Fittipaldi, 35 by Magnussen and 23 by Schumacher.
“I’d say it was a decent FP2. I actually thought the car felt better than it has in recent weekends, so that was nice to see. Hopefully we can build on that and find a bit more performance on the soft tires. I think we were very strong on the mediums. We’ll see if there’s anything special we can do for the race on Sunday. First, we have to see how our pace is, we need to see if we’re in line with the pace of Alfa Romeo and quicker than Williams. I think it’s been a good day though, now we have to try and build on that.”