Yas Marina day two - Da Costa leads Red Bull charge 07 Nov 2012
Red Bull moved to the top of the timesheets in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday as this weeks young driver test continued at the Yas Marina Circuit. Portugals Antonio Felix da Costa was the man at the wheel of the RB8, clocking a best lap of 1m 42.679s to finish half a second up on McLarens Oliver Turvey.
Da Costas second and final day in the Red Bull cockpit - he hands over to reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns on Thursday - was again split into sessions of aero and mechanical work, with the morning given over to aero mapping and the afternoon to tyre work, as well the testing of some car components.
Its been another good day, said the Red Bull Junior team member. Again, we did a lot of mileage, which is good for me and for the team. On a day like this, when the conditions are perfect for testing, and with two Grands Prix to go, I think the team needs to make the most of it and today I think we did that.
Its been a great experience and Id like to thank the whole team for their help and I hope I have been able to help them as well. Ill focus now on the future and I think most sensibly that probably means a full season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year.
At McLaren, long-time tester Gary Paffett ran in the morning, continuing the work he kicked off on Tuesday, before Turvey took over for the afternoon. The team were putting more miles on a number of aerodynamic developments, including a new front wing, and evaluating revised suspension geometry, with an eye towards monitoring resultant tyre wear, degradation and heating.
McLaren will make further extensive set-up changes to the MP4-27 overnight before Turvey concludes his programme on Thursday morning. Kevin Magnussen, who began their test on Tuesday morning, will then return to the cockpit for the final afternoon.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winners Lotus were third fastest courtesy of Edoardo Mortara, the young French/Italian driver getting his first taste of F1 power. The team worked on aerodynamic programming and double-DRS testing in the morning and then focussed on set-up adjustments and balance changes in the afternoon. Reigning GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi will be in the E20 on Thursday.
I had a wonderful time and Im so grateful to everyone at Lotus F1 Team for giving me this opportunity; I enjoyed every lap, said Mortara. At the same time, it was pretty tough; Ive come from a car which is a lot slower and the first laps were certainly an eye opener. I improved gradually over the day and I think my progression was pretty good. Every time I was on track I got a little bit better. I completed the test programme scheduled by the team so its satisfying to be able to contribute to their season. Its been one of the best days of my life.
Saubers Mexican reserve, Esteban Gutierrez, took fourth place ahead of Paffett. Gutierrez, 22, is no stranger to Yas Marina, having driven for Sauber in both of the last two young driver tests at the circuit.
The morning session was very interesting for me because we tested a lot of different things, and I hope I gave my most precise feedback to the engineers, he said Gutierrez. After being in the car so recently in India, of course, I feel a lot more confident in handling all the system like KERS and DRS. In the morning session I used only hard tyres, but in the afternoon I certainly enjoyed running the medium as well as the soft compound. The last sector of the track I find a bit tricky, especially turn 20. I dont have the confidence yet to push harder there.
Obviously we know Esteban a lot better than we knew Robin [Frijns] before yesterday, and he is also quite familiar with the team and the track, added Giampaolo DallAra, Saubers head of track engineering. This helps for some procedures and communication but, nevertheless, he isnt in the car every day. Again he did a good and reliable job for us. We basically ticked off everything from todays job list.
In the morning and early afternoon the focus was on aero work with a set up change over the lunch break. Later in the afternoon we repeated the programme we did yesterday with Robin, giving Esteban a set of medium compound tyres as well as a set of softs. In the end he did a high fuel run on medium tyres. For tomorrow we have some brake testing and suspension work on the list.
Johnny Cecotto Jr was sixth fastest on his Toro Rosso debut, the Venezuelan having tested at Yas Marina last year with Force India. The 23-year-old enjoyed 76 trouble-free laps in the STR7, which he passes back to Tuesday runner Luis Razia on Thursday.
First of all, I would like to say thank you to Toro Rosso for having given me this opportunity, said Cecotto. Its great to be back in a Formula One car after having tested here in Abu Dhabi last year and to add some more kilometres under my belt. The day went very well and I enjoyed working with the team. The level of professionalism, number of systems on the car and the amount of people working in the team always impresses me. It was also nice to have driven a Ferrari engine, a name which is like a piece of history.
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rossos chief engineer, added: We had a full track day with no issues at all, with Johnny in the car for the first time. This morning we did a lot of aero measurements and Johnny did a very good job following all the procedures. He got a little bit more proper running this afternoon, when he showed very quickly that he was up to the task and helped us make progress on our development work on the car. So overall its been a good day for us.
Giedo van der Garde completed the Wednesday timesheet, as the Caterham reserve wrapped up his two-day programme with the team before handing over to tester Alexander Rossi on Thursday. Van der Garde will make his next appearance for Caterham in FP1 in Brazil.
Its been a great couple of days here in Abu Dhabi and I want to thank the team for giving me the chance to drive in the rookie test yesterday and today, said the Dutchman. Today we ran considerably more laps than on day one. We spent the morning running through more aero work and ran with a number of different setups that give the team a huge amount of data to work through that will be really useful for the last two races of the season.
In the afternoon we switched to longer runs, looking at tyre management and how the car behaves on different fuel loads and Im pleased with the progress we made. Towards the end of the session we put soft tyres on and I had a couple of runs that were closer to the performance runs we do in FP3 - the car had more fuel than in quali but Im pretty happy with where I ended up.
The Yas Marina young driver test concludes on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday test times from Yas Marina:
1. Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, 1m 42.679s, 62 Laps
2. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1m 43.176s, 62 Laps
3. Edoardo Mortara, Lotus, 1m 43.418s, 75 Laps
4. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 43.485s, 94 Laps
5. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1m 43.771s, 41 Laps
6. Johnny Cecotto Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m 44.569s, 76 Laps
7. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1m 45.106s, 72 Laps
For tickets and travel to 2012 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 and F1 team merchandise, click here.