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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Young guns test day 2: Red Bull’s Da Costa takes the spoils
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Antonio Felix da Costa  - XPB
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Nov 2012   |  4:03 pm GMT  |  11 comments

Red Bull’s latest rising prospect Antonio Felix da Costa moved the world champion team ahead of McLaren on the second day of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

The 21-year-old from Lisbon, who was signed to Red Bull’s young driver programme earlier this year and won four of this season’s final Formula Renault 3.5 races, improved his second-fastest time from day one by a mere 0.038s to 1m42.679s but that was still enough to set the pace as none of the other six runners could match Kevin Magnussen’s day one effort.

Da Costa completed 62 laps during typically sweltering morning and early afternoon conditons at the desert venue with Red Bull appearing to be running a new rear wing on the RB8, the part caped in flow-vis paint during runs.

McLaren, meanwhile, was again the only team to split its running between two drivers, Oliver Turvey taking over from Magnussen alongside Gary Paffett, with the former second fastest after 62 laps in a best time of 1m43.176s.

After running Nicolas Prost on Tuesday, Lotus gave an F1 debut to 25-year-old Italian DTM driver and former two-time Macau winner Edoardo Mortara and his third-fastest time in the E20 was seven tenths quicker than the Frenchman on day one.

Prospective 2013 driver Esteban Gutierrez maintained his 100% appearance record at F1’s young driver test since 2009 with his first of two days behind the wheel of Sauber’s C31 following Robin Frijns first-day run-out. The Mexican drove the car as recently as the first practice session in India so was far more familiar with its controls than Frijns and duly completed more laps than anyone (94).

Sauber’s head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara reported: “We basically ticked off everything from today’s job list. In the morning and early afternoon the focus was on aero work with a set up change over the lunch break. Later in the afternoon we repeated the programme we did yesterday with Robin, giving Esteban a set of medium compound tyres as well as a set of softs. In the end he did a high fuel run on medium tyres. For tomorrow we have some brake testing and suspension work on the list.”

Johnny Cecotto Jr racked up 76 laps for Toro Rosso on his sole day in the car while Caterham tester Giedo van der Garde completed his second and final day in the CT01 on more aero runs along with set-up comparions and, finally, afternoon long runs. Towards the end of the day, the team gave the Dutchman an FP3 style short-run during which on soft tyres he set his fastest time of the test (1m45.106s).

YOUNG GUNS TEST – Abu Dhabi, Day two

1. Antonio Felix da Costa  Red Bull  1m42.679s  62 laps
2. Oliver Turvey  McLaren  1m43.176s  62 laps
3. Edoardo Mortar  Lotus  1m43.418s  75 laps
4. Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber  1m43.485  94 laps
5. Gary Paffett  McLaren  1m43.771s  41 laps
6. Johnny Cecotto Jr  Toro Rosso  1m44.569s  76 laps
7. Giedo van der Garde  Caterham  1m45.106s  72 laps

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11 Comments
  1. Daniel MA says:

    Is that a passive DDRS on the Red Bull?

  2. Fernando Cruz says:

    Red Bull was testing a lot of things most of the time, otherwise I’m sure Da Costa could have gone quicker. Furthermore he had KERS problems in his only run with soft tyres. He was quicker than Di Resta two years ago with Force India, but maybe at the time he had more opportunities to go for a quick lap time.

  3. Glennb says:

    Of course da Costa was quickest. He’s in the fastest car :) :)
    I would have been quickest in that rocket.

    1. tom in adelaide says:

      Quickest into the wall perhaps :P

  4. dubdub says:

    Interesting to see Giedo van der Garde’s FP3 time.
    Comparing it to the regular Caterham driver Q1 times, he is right in there.

    James, What time of the day did Giedo run that time?
    It would be interesting to compare based on track conditions and such.

  5. Mark in Australia says:

    Any quick explanations on exactly how the flo-vis paint works?

    Wonder if Ferrari are ruing the decision to run so much earlier in the season at Mangy-Cours. Missing out on some important track and development time crucially late in the season? (Granted Red Bull didn’t run then, I know)

  6. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – how much new part testing are the teams allowed to conduct as part of the driver evaluation?

  7. speedy_bob says:

    I’m sorry to use this topic, but I’ve just seen this and I don’t know how to bring it to James’ attention other then through this post:
    Vettel’s RB seems to have a flexible nosetop? Did I just miss this or is it a common practice?
    This is the link to when they replaced Vettel’s nose last race:
    http://imgon.net/di-ZRJZ.gif

    1. He do says:

      Hmmm.. The smoking gun? But the mechanic seems to be putting a lot of muscle into wrenching the nose off – I can’t imagine that it would deform just due to airflow at speed. Maybe it’s just soft energy absorbing nose. Where’s Scarbs when you need him?

  8. Bring Back Murray says:

    One driver doing 62 laps and the other one doing 41 – that’s a good day out for McClaren!

  9. Fellowes says:

    James, I realise that there was some part testing, but is there enough information (tyre, fuel, track condition) to make direct comparisons of the young guns to their race driver counterparts? I think it would be interesting to see who is showing genuine promise, or not.

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