Australian Daniel Ricciardo dominated the second day of the Young Guns test at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi today, closing out with a time comparable with Sebastian Vettel’s pole lap from last weekend, once track condition is taken into account.
So you’d have to work on the basis of taking 1.4s -1.5s off the headline lap times to get a comparable read to times set during Grand Prix weekend. Nevertheless it’s a formidable effort by Ricciardo.
Jerome d’Ambrosio’s best time of 1m 38.802s, is 2.099s faster than Vitaly Petrov managed last week, when he outqualified Robert Kubica. The Belgian up and comer did some running with Virgin on Fridays during the Grand Prix weekend towards the end of the season and must have a reasonable chance of a seat there next season.
Most of the other times set today were either a couple of tenths faster or slower than the respective cars managed at the weekend, but not everyone was going for outright performance. Some drivers were still doing set up and aero evaluation work.
Ricciardo acknowledged that the Red Bull RB6 is a missile of a car, “It’s great to get so close to the big boys’ times from the weekend. It’s very rare to get a perfect car, but I have to say this one is very close. It’s been a great two days and it would be fantastic to get a chance to drive in F1 full time.”
The test also marked the final lap for Bridgestone tyres in F1 after 14 years of competition. The stats are a little meaningless because for the last four years it had no competition from other tyre suppliers. But it’s a long association that comes to an end today.
On Friday the F1 teams will get their first experience of Pirelli tyres and a new adventure begins.
Young Guns Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Day 2
1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m38.102s 77
2. Jerome D’Ambrosio Renault 1m38.802s 83
3. Sam Bird Mercedes 1m39.220s 82
4. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m39.760s 84
5. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m39.916s 93
6. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m40.543s 91
7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m40.901s 27
8. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m40.944s 81
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m40.974s 61
10. Yelmer Buurman Force India 1m41.178s 67
11. Davide Valsecchi Hispania 1m43.013s 32
12. Luiz Razia Virgin 1m43.525s 70
13. Josef Kral Hispania 1m44.143s 61
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1m44.312s 41
15. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Lotus 1m45.723s 49