The championship might have ended on Sunday but Formula 1 rarely rests over the past two days, all ten teams have been pounding out laps of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit as they evaluate the tyres Pirelli intends to bring to the party in 2018, including the new hypersoft that the Italian manufacturer will add to its range next year.
Over the two days of running Daniel and Max each cracked the century lap mark, with the Aussie logging a total of 109 laps on Tuesday and Max getting through 132 laps yesterday.
Daniel finished his final day at the wheel of the RB13 in P2 on the timesheet with a best time of 1m38.066s set on the pink-banded hypersoft. That left him 0.298s behind day one's fastest man Kimi Räikkönen who also used the new hypersoft to post a best time of 1m37.768s. World champion Lewis Hamilton ended the day third quickest, 0.782s off the pace.
All eyes, though, were on Robert Kubica who was testing for Williams. The Pole put in a solid total of 100 laps in a trouble-free outing, posting a best lap of 1m41.296s to end up ninth quickest, though his time was done on the soft tyre. Kubica ran again on day two, using the hypersoft to record a best time of 1m39.485s that left him with the 11th fastest time across the two days.
With Daniel's work finished on Tuesday, Max took over driving duties on Wednesday and after a busy day the Dutchman ended up with 132 laps on the board with a best lap of 1m38.736s. That time, set on the hypersoft, put him third on the timesheet, 1.185s behind the fastest man of the day, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. The German set a hypersoft benchmark for the test with a lap of 1m37.551s to finish 0.939 clear of second-placed Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.
And that was that. As the sun set on Yas, the packdown began, and after an epic year of racing, travel and hard, hard work, the crew can finally call time of the 2017 season.
The next time they, and Max and Daniel, will have a chance to again try out Pirelli's new softer range of tyres will be when RB14 rolls out of the garage at the first official pre-season test of 2018 in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1. Bring it on.