Abu Dhabi: Magnussen leads Young Driver Test Day 1
Six teams stayed on in Abu Dhabi to test young up and coming F1 drivers, teams from the fast McLaren Mercedes team to the backmarker Caterham team (those poor drivers).
Results Day 1
||Antonio Felix da Costa
||Giedo van der Garde
Along with five other teams, Scuderia Toro Rosso has stayed on in Abu Dhabi for the Young Driver Test. Today, Luiz Razia was at the wheel of the STR7, chassis No. 3, last raced in the Italian Grand Prix, back in September.
Luiz Razia: “I enjoyed my first experience working with Toro Rosso today, on a track I know well, having driven here in 2010 and ’11. In the morning, the team had various test items it wanted to work through and in the afternoon, we looked a bit more at establishing a base line on the car. As far as the tires are concerned, I found it relatively straightforward as they seemed quite similar to those supplied by Pirelli in GP2. As for all the buttons on the steering wheel, I had some time before driving the car to get used to them, so I soon got the hang of it. Overall, it was a good day as the car ran trouble free and I was able to do a lot of laps.”
Laurent Mekies: “This was Luiz’s first day working with us and he acquitted himself well, quickly getting into a rhythm and running at a good pace. He appeared to be physically fit enough for the work, completing 67 laps with no problems. This meant we got plenty done, on a day when the track conditions were nice and stable throughout the session. In the morning we did some aero testing, switching to brake system evaluation in the afternoon.”
Tomorrow, Johnny Cecotto Junior takes over at the wheel, before Razia returns to the cockpit for the final day on Thursday.
Sauber Giampaolo Dall’Ara (Head of Track Engineering):
“We had a good day with Robin. He did fine. Physically he coped well and also, for his age, gave us good feedback. The mileage is a lot and the lap time is also good. We started with hard tires and did some aero work in the morning before actually working on his lap time. Towards the end of the day we gave him an idea of different tire compounds and went with a set of medium and a set of soft. But we never sent him out with a qualifying fuel level.”
Robin Frijns:“Gosh this was hard work! Not in the beginning but then suddenly I felt it, especially from the brakes. I am really tired now and know I have to go and exercise more. In the morning we started with installation laps so that I could get used to the car and the steering wheel, which isn’t that easy. In the afternoon I found it hard to understand the tire compounds. I had only driven on Michelin tires before, and with the Pirelli medium and soft compounds it was difficult for me after only one lap. I had the feeling the more careful I handled them the worse it became. There is obviously a lot to learn. On my fastest lap with the soft tires I made a mistake, so there was more to come. The team did a great job during the day and I want to thank them for that.”
What comes next for Sauber: For Wednesday and Thursday the Sauber F1 Team’s test and reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez (22/MX), will take over driving duties.
Giedo van der Garde: “I’m pleased with how today went. We were mainly working on aero performance, running sensors and different mechanical configurations on the car in the morning and afternoon sessions and to get the most out of them I had to drive consistently, carefully and not go for outright speed.
“I think the team’s happy with what I’ve done today and physically I feel great after running a good number of laps. After my FP1 session here in Abu Dhabi was cut short it was good to get some really decent time on track and the key thing for me is to keep developing my relationship with the team. There’s still a few tweaks we could make to the setup to suit my driving style a bit more but we have tomorrow to work on a few more setup options, as well as continuing to test parts and aero programs.”
Antonio Felix da Costa
With just a short respite after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing was back at the Yas Marina Circuit today for the 2012 Young Driver Test. Red Bull Junior driver Ant¢nio Félix da Costa was at the wheel of the RB8 for the first day of this three-day test.
Running during daylight, rather than the day/night schedule of the Grand Prix, the team split the allotted time between mechanical work in the morning and aero-mapping during the afternoon. The full program was completed, with Antonio driving 79 laps of the Yas Marina Circuit.
Antonio said: “This was my first time driving an RB8 at a proper test, with proper tires on a real circuit, and… wow! I was perhaps a little anxious beforehand, but ultimately the pedals and the steering wheel are in the usual places.
“There’s a lot to learn, particularly with the buttons on the steering wheel, and it took one or two runs to get completely comfortable with all of that – but I think we had a good day.”
Antonio will be back in the car tomorrow before handing over on Thursday to Formula Renault 3.5 series winner Robin Frijns.