First and third for Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo finished first and third on the timesheets on the second day of the Young Driver Test at Silverstone, even though his outing in the Red Bull didn't go quite according to plan.

The Australian, who is hoping to take over Mark Webber's vacant seat when he leaves F1 at season end, slightly blotted his copybook when he spun off at Luffield whilst driving the Red Bull and bringing out the red flags.

However, along with the red flags, his red face was soon a distant memory as the popular youngster put in a strong performance that should go some way to convincing the Austrian outfit to give him the drive.

Toro Rosso had two drivers on duty, in the morning Ricciardo was at the wheel, which meant that the hard and medium compounds were the focus of the team's attention, running to a programme prescribed by the tyre supplier.

At lunchtime, having set what would be the fastest time of the day, Ricciardo had a quick change into Infiniti Red Bull Racing overalls for a run his run in the RBR9.

Antonio Felix da Costa had driven the RB9 in the morning picking up where he left off yesterday. However, an unspecified problem meant a late start and as a result the youngster only managed 19 laps. Nonetheless, the Portuguese driver was pleased with his day and a half's work with the team.

"To drive the car for half of the three days of testing has been a fantastic opportunity," he said. "It's a good sign that the team believes I can carry such a heavy workload and get the job done. To be working with a world championship-winning team is the best learning experience you could have."

"It was good today but very busy, so it's still a bit of a blur," added Ricciardo. "I did quite a few laps this afternoon, so I'm happy with that. I had a small off but otherwise it was a trouble-free day.

"The off was my mistake," he admitted, "I just lost the rear on the entry. It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts today. In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there's still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I'll switch my focus back to that and won't get too caught up in any rumours."

"The morning was a bit frustrating as we were late going out," said the team's race engineering co-ordinator, Andy Damerum. "We discovered a problem with the car last night and that set us back. Despite that we did get some good data and Antonio was excellent throughout.

"As for the afternoon, Daniel had only about 45 minutes to swap over from his morning tyre test to driving our car, a completely different machine, but he was up to speed very quickly. As ever his feedback was exemplary and he gave us a lot of information to go through."

For Carlos Sainz, today will be a day to remember, as the 18 year old Spaniard got his first taste of driving a Formula 1 car, when he took to the track in the STR8 in the afternoon.

Because of his status as a young driver there were no restrictions relating to testing and the engineers were able to continue with the development programme initiated yesterday when Johnny Cecotto was driving. Sainz delivered a solid performance, completing a good number of laps, without making any mistakes, delivering plenty of useful data and producing respectable lap times. Indeed, he ended the day second quickest, just 0.044s off Ricciardo's best time - also set in the Toro Rosso.

"When I got out of the car at the end, I went round to every mechanic and said 'thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life!'," said Sainz. "Driving the car was an incredible feeling and this track helped, because if there is one circuit where you are really going to feel you are in a Formula 1 car, it's Silverstone. As for my impressions of the car, everything about it was amazing, but if I had to pick on one aspect it would be the car's agility and the way it can change direction at 300 km/h. That's something I had never experienced before and it was the most impressive thing for me.

"Tomorrow, I will get the chance to drive the Red Bull, but to start like this with Toro Rosso, which was not part of my plan for the year, makes this the best day and tomorrow, to sit in a world champion's car thanks to Red Bull, who have supported me since I was fifteen, will I hope be just as good."

Tomorrow, Jean-Eric Vergne will drive in the morning, continuing the tyre evaluation work, before handing over to Daniil Kvyat for the afternoon.

For Lotus, Davide Valsecchi completed the second day of running as the third-fastest driver of the day. After completing 91 laps, he had recorded the fourth-fastest time overall due to Ricciardo setting lap times in two different cars.

Davide ran through a programme of aerodynamic assessments including analysis work on the team's rear wing 'Device'.

Nicolas Prost returns to the car on Friday in a change to the original programme – which had seen Kimi Räikkönen set to take the wheel – made following clarification of FIA rules which mean that 2013 season drivers are only allowed to test tyres and not try out upgrades.

"Today was the highlight of my season and I really enjoyed my time in the car," said Valsecchi. "Everything seemed to be going well and I hope that I've been able to contribute to the team's efforts ahead of the next race in Budapest. We completed all the jobs on the schedule and I think I got some extra laps in too. I did miss the pit board for a few laps when the team was trying to call me in as the radio was broken. I stayed out until I thought they were going to throw the pit board at me, then I thought it was better that I came in!"

"Another excellent day from our perspective," added Alan Permane, "with a full programme completed enabling us to develop our rear wing 'Device'. It was perfect to test it here as we previously ran with the 'Device' at the British Grand Prix, so the data from that event combined with today's work has allowed us to further refine it. Within today's running we used the hard and medium tyres in high and low fuel configurations.

"We're beginning to get a good understanding of the latest tyre evolution," he added, "and have been looking at how best to get and keep them in their optimum operating window. We have some good data to study the tyre degradation characteristics and we're well placed to go into the final day of the test and make further progress."

Test and development driver Oliver Turvey took to the wheel of the MP4-28 for McLaren, beginning the day with a number of iterative aero tests, running through mechanical set-up changes and conducting tyre evaluation runs.

After lunch, he began a series of longer runs aimed at testing modifications made in the morning. The day also enabled the team to improve correlation between the simulator and the track.

"It was a really busy day given we tested lots of things on the car," said Turvey. "Hopefully it will help us to improve our understanding. Mid-seasons test are very important, which is why I hardly got out the car all day.

"I loved the experience," he added. "There are limited opportunities to drive a Formula 1 car these days, so to do nearly 100 laps was great. I'm in my fourth season with the team and really enjoying it. I want to thank them for choosing me to drive here, it was fantastic."

Once again, Force India had James Calado and Paul di Resta on duty, the Englishman completing 48 laps in the morning before handing over to di Resta for a tyre programme in the afternoon.

"It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week," beamed Calado. "It's another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn and so many names to remember! Yesterday was more about getting comfortable with the car and today I was able to do a bigger programme with some aero work. The team also gave me the chance to try some pit stop practice, which was good experience.

"As a British driver it has been amazing to drive a Formula One car at my home track – it's certainly a memory that will stay with me. The car is just phenomenal – the high speed grip, the brakes and the g-forces. I'm really happy with how things have gone and I hope the work we've done will help the race drivers in Hungary."

Davide Rigon continued at the wheel of the F138 for Ferrari, the youngster completing 97 laps, with a best time of 1.34.053.

Today's programme centred on a continuation of yesterday's work of evaluating various aerodynamic packages, alongside an analysis of the soft and hard tyres brought here by Pirelli for all ten teams.

"Today, we continued to move forward with the programme we begun yesterday, studying various aerodynamic packages" said Rigon. "It was only in the afternoon that we began an evaluation of the performance of the Soft and Hard tyres. Once again, we were not looking at lap times, but instead we got through a lot of work to gather data which could help us to improve for the rest of the season. Compared to yesterday, I had a much better feeling from the car and I also knew the track better, which meant I was able to tackle the programme with more confidence, thanks in part to the work of the whole team."

Tomorrow, Felipe Massa takes over in the morning before handing the F138 back to Rigon for the final afternoon of the test.

At Williams, Daniel Juncadella was joined by Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan hoping that the tyres provided by Pirelli for the remainder of the season will allow the Grove outfit to take a step forward. Between them the due completed over 100 laps, posting the ninth and eleventh best times.

"It was a good day today," said Maldonado. "We completed all of the planned programme for Pirelli. The tyres feel quite different but we need to see how we compare against other cars on the track with the same compounds. We didn't get performance from the car with them so we need more time in Hungary as we couldn't make any set-up changes today. It was good to be back in the car though, in preparation for getting back to racing next week."

"It was nice to be able to have another go in the car today," added Juncadella. "The conditions were different today with the wind changing direction so I struggled to get used to the balance of the car a bit. However, I think it was good for to have another opportunity in the car and I've really enjoyed the experience a lot."

"This morning we did a tyre test with Pastor following a programme given to us by Pirelli," said chief engineer, Xevi Pujolar. "Ideally we would have liked to have modified the car set-up to better suit the tyres, but we couldn't do this as part of today's test so we couldn't get the most of the performance out of them. We saw some differences compared to the tyres we have been running so far this season but we'll do more fine tuning in Hungary. It looks interesting from what we have seen so far, so it could make the racing slightly different.

"We did another 30 laps with Dani this afternoon to complete our programme with him and give him the opportunity to learn more. We did some performance runs and a long run, and again he made no mistakes and coped well in the different conditions. We are really pleased with what we have seen from him over the last two days.

Tomorrow, the final day of the test, Susie Wolff is at the wheel of the FW35.

At Sauber, Robin Frijns was joined by Nico Hulkenberg. The Dutchman covered 17 laps in the morning carrying out aero tests. Unfortunately, a spin into the gravel at Luffield ended his day slightly earlier than planned.

In the afternoon, Hulkenberg took over, the German testing the new specification tyre that will be used from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. He added 52 laps to the day's tally.

"This morning we did a lot of installation laps again," said Frijns. "At around 12pm we finally did a performance run. After the first lap we changed the settings on the car. Following that I felt the car wasn't as balanced as before, so I spun off and that ended my day with just one flying lap."

"I had a good half day on track completing 52 laps in total," added Hulkenberg. "That's not a bad effort in less than three hours. The updates on the car felt quite positive. However, it is difficult to compare that to the race weekend here, because the weather conditions were very different. Today was much hotter, and, of course, the tyres were different. Also the work on the Pirelli tyres was quite successful. I have a good feeling on them. I now I look forward to going to Budapest to see how competitive we are."

"The initial running was again dedicated to installation laps where we were gathering aero data with test instrumentation fitted to the car," confirmed Tom McCullough, the Hinwil outfit's head of track engineering. "Unfortunately we lost some valuable track time due to some minor car problems, but we completed the most important aero tests in the morning. Shortly after that we started the performance runs, but Robin had a spin into the gravel in turn 7 which limited his number of timed laps. After lunch Nico got his first experience of the 2012 construction tyres with the C32 while conducting a tyre test programme for Pirelli."

Tomorrow, 24-year-old Kimiya Sato will drive for the whole day, the Japanese getting a taste of a Formula One car for the very first time.

British youngster Will Stevens was on duty for Caterham, completing, along with Oliver Turvey at McLaren, the most laps (98).

"It's been a really good day and I want to thank everyone who's helped make my first run in an F1 car happen," said the Rochford born driver. "For me the main focus of the day was learning as much as I could. It was obviously my first time driving the F1 car and even though I'd prepared for the test with simulator sessions and time back the factory, nothing really prepares you for the step up in performance compared to what I've been racing so far, and the whole track setup.

"However, to be honest, it didn't take long to start feeling comfortable in the car. In the early runs we were mainly focusing on aero work, so it was all about working to the very precise plan the engineers set, and then, from mid-morning, we started looking at more normal test work – setup options, different bodywork, all the test items the team needed to work through for the races to come.

"We stopped for lunch after nearly 50 laps and I was feeling good, ready to get straight back in and carry on! The afternoon session was much the same – we tried a few different setups and then ended with more aero work.

"Overall it's been a really good day, one where I think I did just what the team wanted and learned a lot. I'm off straight away to the next World Series round in Austria, but I can't wait to get back into an F1 car!"

Propping up the timesheets, 4.977s off the pace, was Rodolfo Gonzalez at the wheel of the MR02, who was on duty for the entire day.

The Venezuelan has taken part in three FP1 sessions so far this season, so the opportunity to work through a more detailed programme and accrue greater mileage was most welcome. Over the course of the day he completed 92 laps, which equates to more than 500kms, the same distance as one and a half Grands Prix.

Tomorrow, he will return to the car for the morning session before Jules Bianchi takes over for the afternoon.

"It's been really good to be back in the MR02 and for a whole day rather than the 90 minute FP1 sessions I have taken part in so far," said Gonzalez. "I've had a really full programme today and I've been able to put some longer runs together and find a good rhythm. After a very intensive day I'm looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow morning to finish the work we started today and focus more on some performance runs."

"Today has been a more productive day," added John Booth. "This was the first opportunity in a long time for us to perform testing with many sets of tyres and so the focus of our programme has been to evaluate a whole series of test items that have been in our development plan for some time. As is usual, when carrying out this work we have not really been focusing on lap times but more engineering comparisons. We are pleased with the results of the test in the areas of control systems, suspension and set-up oriented around the new tyres. We have gathered a large amount of data which will be analysed over the coming days before Budapest and hopefully some of the items that we have worked on will yield benefit."

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Published: 18/07/2013
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