Formula 1

Mercedes quickest as Honda struggle at Abu Dhabi test

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Mercedes ended the final official running of 2014 just as they started it as reserve Pascal Wehrlein set the quickest time on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old DTM world champion posted a 1:42.624 on the final afternoon of action at Yas Marina as the two-day test came to a close.

Ferrari's young prodigy Rafaelle Marciello made his official debut behind the wheel of a Prancing Horse and posted the second quickest time of the week albeit six tenths slower than the pacesetting Silver Arrow.

McLaren Honda has difficult rebirth

Away from the headline times, the test marked the reunion of McLaren and Honda, as the Japanese carmaker prepares to return with the team it had so much success with in the late 1980's, early 90's.

But it seems there is still plenty of work to be done before any hopes of another era of winning can be achieved as the Woking team completed only five laps over the two days.

Electrical and fuel problems blighted Honda's hopes for early progression, however, the team does say it has still learnt a lot about its new power unit despite admitting frustration at the lack of running.

Overall reliability was good at the test with only a handful of red flags across the two days and most teams managing close to 100 laps on both days.

Race for Toro Rosso heats up

The biggest incident involved Toro Rosso's teenage driver Max Verstappen who had hit the barriers on just his third lap on Tuesday.

The crash was not his fault, however, as it was revealed a front suspension failure had caused the young Dutchman to lose control.

It was, however, a useful experience for Verstappen, as it was confirmed another rookie driver will partner him in 2015 after Jean-Eric Vergne announced he will not be with the junior Red Bull team, and the 17-year-old completed 132 laps across the two days of running.

Indications point to Carlos Sainz Jr. as the man who will be alongside Verstappen after the Spaniard ran with Red Bull on Tuesday managing 100 laps behind the wheel of the RB10.

His best time of 1:45.339 was only two tenths slower than that of Daniel Ricciardo, who was back in the car on Wednesday, however, the Australian did lose the final two hours of running as a likely engine failure brought his year's work to a fiery end.

Williams reserve set for Sauber switch

Williams led day one through Valtteri Bottas, whose time was the third quickest of the test, but on Wednesday Felipe Nasr completed his final day with the Grove team ahead of a move to Sauber where his 2015 team-mate Marcus Ericsson is already making himself at home.

After the switch from Caterham, the Swede complete just shy of 220 laps across the two days setting the fourth best time on the final day with a 1:44.551.

The all-new line-up comes after Sauber's worst ever season as the Swiss team failed to score points for the first time in their 21-year history.

Caterham's 2015 quest continues

Also present at the test was Caterham after the crowdfunding scheme saw them make the trip to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season following two on the sidelines.

With reports a takeover could be completed in weeks, race debutante Will Stevens drove the car on both days as he gained more experience behind the wheel of an F1 car and had success completed just shy of 180 laps in the CT04. 

Now the sport heads into its winter hibernation until the first official pre-season test at Jerez gets underway likely in late January, with driver moves yet to be confirmed and 2015 cars to be launched there is plenty to keep upto date with and I will do just that here on GiveMeSport so follow the F1 Twitter page @GMS_F1 to catch all the latest news and opinion.

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