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Ricciardo quickest on final day (with pictures)

NEWS STORY
03/12/2009

Australian Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on the final day of testing at Jerez, the British F3 champion, at the wheel of the Red Bull RB5, posting the fastest time of the week.

Following on from the past two days, the team once again worked on aerodynamic testing aimed at 2010, getting through its entire programme, even though track time was shortened by some light rain in the middle of the day. Ricciardo's performance was impressive the Australian recording the lap time of the year at the Spanish track.

"These last three days have been an incredible experience for me," said Ricciardo, as he reluctantly stepped out of the cockpit. "I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity, which has made me even more determined to make it into Formula 1 one day. I know it was just a test, but seeing my name on the top of today's timesheet was really something special."

JR Hildebrand and Paul di Resta once more shared driving duties for Force India, with the American getting out in the morning before the Scot took over for the afternoon.

On the programme for both today was further aero and mechanical set-up evaluation over both long and short runs. Hildebrand was able to complete 41 laps before a red flag and rain shower slowed progress, recording a best lap time of 1:19.873. di Resta put in 53 laps in a slightly interrupted afternoon programme, however he completed his schedule with a best of 1:18.736, the second quickest time of the day.

"Today was a little frustrating," admitted Hildebrand, "because we again lost our quickest outings when the engine saving mode switched on and then when we tried to re-run the new tyre outing the red flag came out when I was six tenths up on my fastest lap. That would have put us squarely in the thick of the front runners. Knowing I had the time in me and couldn't get it is in part frustrating, but I can only be so frustrated as I know how much quicker we really were. I am still struggling with some instability into the corners but the team was able to make some improvements for the afternoon and with a bit more time I could make some adjustments myself. I have had a great experience here and I really feel at this point that my confidence and comfort in the car was quite high. I've been happy with my performance and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity."

"It was a little interrupted this afternoon with one spin into the gravel and then an electrical issue that stopped us out on track so we lost some time in places," added di Resta. "All the same the team ran through their programme and despite the stoppages we made progress and I think the team got some good results. I think I had a good time at the end and found some more performance so I'm happy on both accounts. Thanks to everyone for a great week and for giving me a chance."

"A satisfactory completion to the test today," said chief race engineer, Dominic Harlow. "The weather cost us a little track time at the start of the day and in the early afternoon, but with our programme adjusted we were able to accomplish most of what we set out achieve. Overall the Young Driver Test has proven to be a very positive initiative for F1, and it's been a productive test to finish the year"

For McLaren, Oliver Turvey took over for the morning, concluding the running he began on Tuesday afternoon. On a slippery track, he began with a number of aero tests at slower speeds until conditions improved and the test team switched him to a 10-lap run, running through a suite of different set-ups to give Oliver a feel for the changes.

"Oliver did a very good job," said test team manager, Indy Lall, "and contributed towards our week's test work. He made a very good impression on his introduction to Formula 1."

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