Abu Dhabi young driver test - whos fielding who this week? 05 Nov 2012
Following Sundays 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, six teams have stayed on at Yas Marina for a three-day young driver test, which begins on Tuesday. The remainder of the grid carried out their young driver sessions earlier in the year, at Magny-Cours in France and Silverstone in the UK. Heres a rundown of the drivers expected in action this week
Portugals Antonio Felix da Costa and Dutchman Robin Frijns will be at the wheel for Red Bull, Da Costa for the opening two days and Frijns on the third. Da Costa, 21, is a Red Bull Junior team member and finished third in the 2012 GP3 Series. He also competed in six of the nine rounds of the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 championship, taking four wins and finishing fourth overall. He tested with Force India back in 2010 and recently drove a Red Bull RB7 at a show car event in Seoul, Korea. Frijns, meanwhile, recently won the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 series championship and that success earned him his run in the RB8 in Abu Dhabi thanks to Red Bulls partnership with the World Series by Renault. The 21-year-old will also be driving for Sauber on the tests opening day.
McLaren are expected to run their regular testers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey, as well as young hopeful Kevin Magnussen. DTM star Paffett, 31, joined the Woking team in 2005 and has since carried out numerous tests for them. Fellow Briton Turvey, 25, tested for McLaren during the last two annual young driver tests and at the Mugello test in May. He also raced in GP2 and GT3 in 2011. Magnussen is the son of former McLaren test and race driver Jan. The 20-year-old Dane finished runner-up in the British Formula Three championship last year, claiming eight pole positions and winning seven races, and this year has been combining his young driver role at McLaren with a full-time seat in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, in which he finished seventh overall after one win, three podiums and three poles.
Renault have three drivers stepping into the E20 over the three days. First up on Tuesday will be Nicolas Prost, son of four-time world champion Alain. Prost has just won the FIA World Endurance Trophy and is currently third in the overall driver classification. He finished as top privateer at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2011 and 2012, recently claimed overall victory in the prestigious Petit Le Mans race and previously clinched the 2008 Formula 3000 Euroseries title. On Wednesday Swiss-born Edoardo Mortara, who now holds dual French and Italian nationality, takes over. Mortara is the only driver to have won the Macau Grand Prix twice in a racing career which has included taking the Formula Three Euroseries title in 2010. He has just finished fifth in the 2012 DTM championship. And on Thursday Italys Davide Valsecchi will be in action. Valsecchi, 25, has previously tested F1 cars for HRT and Team Lotus (now Caterham), including a Friday practice session for the latter at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. As well as claiming the GP2 title this season, the Italian also took the 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series championship, and has contested races in Auto GP and the Le Mans Series.
Reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez and the aforementioned Robin Frijns will form Saubers young driver line-up. Frijns will drive on the opening day of testing. The 21 year-old won the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2011 and this year won the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series after scoring three wins and a further four podium finishes. He will also drive for Red Bull on the tests final day. Gutierrez, meanwhile, will test on Wednesday and Thursday. The Mexican 21 year-old has been the teams official reserve since 2011. He has tested four times for the team already and also took part in FP1 in India last month, replacing a poorly Sergio Perez.
2012 GP2 runner-up Luiz Razia and Venezuelan hopeful Johnny Cecotto Junior will split driving duties for Toro Rosso, with Razia in action on Tuesday and Thursday and Cecotto taking to the track on Wednesday. Cecotto, 23, shares his name with his father, a former racer and motorcycle world champion. He has raced in GP2 since 2009, finishing ninth overall this year after a pole position and win in Monaco and a second victory at Hockenheim. He drove for Force India in last years young driver test. Razia, also 23, has plenty of previous Formula One experience and has been in action at young driver tests for Virgin, Team Lotus and Force India in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively, as well as enjoying a Friday practice outing with Team Lotus at last years Chinese Grand Prix.
Caterham will field their reserve and test drivers Giedo van der Garde and Alexander Rossi, with Van der Garde, 27, in the car for days one and two, and 21-year-old tester Rossi taking over for the final day. Dutchman Van der Garde enjoyed his fifth Friday practice outing with Caterham in Abu Dhabi last weekend and has also had a strong year in GP2 with Caterham Racing, winning twice, in Spain and Singapore, and recording two podium finishes in Monaco. American Rossi drove for Caterham in Practice One in Barcelona back in May and competed with Arden Caterham in Formula Renault 3.5 this season. One of his highlights also came in Monaco, where he finished fifth.
Formula1.com will bring you reports and images from Abu Dhabi throughout this weeks test.
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