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Vergne tops Thursday morning in Abu Dhabi
While all other drivers were running develop test laps testing new pieces for next year, Red Bull driver Jean-Eric Vergne was in qualifying trim and headed the final morning of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, setting a best mark just 0.436s off Sebastian Vettel's pole position time for last weekend's Abu Dhabi GP in the same car.

The Frenchman, who also topped the first two days of the test, improved on his best time by over a second to top the times by 2.430s from Ferrari's Jules Bianchi.

Oliver Turvey returned for McLaren after sitting out yesterday's running in favor of Gary Paffett. He ended the morning ahead of Force India returnee Max Chilton, who was fourth fastest overall.

While all other drivers were in the car already earlier this week, American Alexander Rossi, driving an F1 car for the first time since a tryout for BMW Sauber in December 2009, made his first appearance for Team Lotus. After spending the early running familiarizing himself with the car, he ended up a very impressive fifth fastest ahead of Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez. Given this is really his first time in an F1 in anger it proves that young Rossi is F1 material and will be the next American in F1.

Morning times:


Driver Team Time (sec) Behind
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 98.917 0.000s
2 Jules Bianchi Ferrari 101.347 2.430s
3 Olivier Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 102.346 3.429s
4 Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 102.618 3.701s
5 Alexander Rossi Lotus-Renault 104.381 5.464s
6 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 104.531 5.614s
7 Stefano Coletti Toro Rosso-Ferrari 104.545 5.628s
8 Mirko Bortolotti Williams-Cosworth 106.076 7.159s
9 Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 106.299 7.382s
10 Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 106.348 7.431s
11 Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 107.159 8.242s
12 Sam Bird Mercedes GP 107.624 8.707s

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