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Da Costa quickest on Day 2 at Yas Marina

NEWS STORY
07/11/2012

Portuguese youngster Felix da Costa (pictured) topped the timesheets on the second day of the Young Driver Test at Yas Marina.

Once again there were six teams on duty, McLaren running different drivers in both the morning and afternoon session.

Da Costa's programme 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 car components.

"It's been another good day," he said, having completed his second and final day of running. "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.

"It's been a great experience and I'd like to thank the whole team for their help and I hope I have been able to help them as well," he added. "I'll 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."

For the final day of the test, Formula Renault 3.5 Series winner Robin Frijns will take over the RB8, the Dutch youngster having driven the Sauber yesterday.

As on Tuesday, McLaren divided its running. Gary Paffett continued the work he began on Tuesday afternoon as the Woking team put 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.

Oliver Turvey continued the programme into the afternoon, adding another 62 laps on his way to posting the second best time of the day.

The team declared itself pleased with the input and response of both drivers - neither of whom have spent extensive time behind the wheel of MP4-27, and both of whom were immediately up to speed and able to provide excellent feedback to the engineers.

The Woking outfit team will make further extensive set-up changes overnight before Turvey concludes his programme in the morning. Kevin Magnussen, who began the test on Tuesday morning, will return to the cockpit on Thursday afternoon, putting more miles on the development parts.

Making his debut in the E20 for Lotus was Edoardo Mortara, who is currently competing in the DTM series. Immediately up to speed, the French/Italian finished the day third fastest, setting his quickest time at the last possible moment on his final lap.

In the morning the youngster focussed on aerodynamic programming and DDRS testing before switching to set-up adjustments and balance change in the afternoon.

"I had a wonderful time and I'm so grateful to everyone at Lotus F1 Team for giving me this opportunity," said Mortara. "I enjoyed every lap. At the same time, it was pretty tough; I've 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 it's satisfying to be able to contribute to their season. It's been one of the best days of my life."

"Today we completed further aerodynamic work Including running two iterations of the DDRS," added race engineer, Simon Rennie. "Edoardo spent the morning acclimatising himself to the car meaning that in the afternoon he was able to tune the set-up to his preferences. He did a great job, completing 75 laps and giving us a lot of valuable data to work with. We ran with new medium tyres in the afternoon meaning he was let off the leash a bit more to show his speed. At the end of the day he was third quickest, but there is more time to come from him and also the car. All in all, he did an excellent job today."

Reigning GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi will round off the three day test as he makes his Lotus debut tomorrow.

Esteban Gutierrez is already fairly familiar with the Sauber team, the Yas Marina circuit and to a certain extent the C31. He had his first Formula One test back in 2009 in Jerez with the Swiss team and since then has taken part in the 2010 and 2011 Young Driver Tests. In his role as test and reserve driver he recently stepped in for Sergio Perez during the first free practice session at the Indian Grand Prix.

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