Rookie test ends with Ricciardo on top
Red Bull Racing
Rookie test ends with Ricciardo on top
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Nov 2010   |  4:57 pm GMT  |  34 comments

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.

Ricciardo at speed (Getty)

Ricciardo set a time of 1m 38.102s, which was 1.292 seconds faster than the pole lap last weekend. Engineers I’ve spoken to at the track say that the track improvement was around 1.2 seconds yesterday, compared to qualifying day, and it was even faster this morning. There was more grip and there was also a favourable tailwind. Also cones which had been on the apex of some corners were not there today, so there was some fractional gain from cutting the apex.

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

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I liked Mikhail Aleshin. He was solid all morning and ‘fuel corrected’ Mikhail’s time on the day would have been even faster than Renault’s Grand Prix drivers best lap from the race. Renault F1 team encountered some difficulties with hydraulics which meant he was unable to go out on soft tyres, with a low fuel load in the cool of the evening.


As I understand it Ricciardo and Vettel are doing the pirelli test together…. Wow this should be interesting…..Nice present for the new world champ….. Another fast Aussie who wants the keys to his car…..


it serves as a reminder that the Red Bull car is king, no matter who drive’s it, Ricardo, Vettel, Webber. Good thing Aerton Senna not around in a car like that otherwise he would have wone all the races this year! Maybe all the current F1 drivers would seem great in the current Red Bull?


Ricciardo for Vettel treatment please?


Hi James,

Sorry but a different topic.

I am just wondering about the Yas marina circuit

Knowing you have been there. For the F1 boys if they took out the chicane before the hairpin would that not make a good passing point? Just interested in your thoughts!

All the best!!



Yes, I think that is the answer. We’ll have a debate about it, maybe


please get some technical insight from teams and drivers esp on what they would change to make overtaking there possible. I was at the race and it had everything going for it except great passing. thanks James


James, he looks like he is a big boy.Could you let us know what his height and weight is and how does that compare to Vettel and Webber.


Weight not sure, but he’s more Vettel’s height than Webbers, sightly thicker set, but not much


According to Dans website he is 1.78m tall and weighs 66kg


I find it mind-boggling, the number of stories reporting these results from today without mentioning a word about the role that track conditions played. (Which then leads to reader comments like “Well then why are they paying these current drivers all this money when these rookies are obviously better?1!1!!”)

So thank you for going into this matter in some detail!


Times are different, because conditions are very different and… some post,bollard/milestone (don’t know good word) were removed! Also cars got other configurations (wings, etc).

I would love to see D’Ambrosio in Renault in 2011 with Kubica! He was great!


The cynic in me would say that maybe Red Bull deliberately wanted Ricciardo to set a VERY fast pace. Perhaps to act as some motivation to THAT other Aussie in the Red Bull line up!

Then again, I rate this guy very high having followed his progress in F3 and WSR. He’s worthy of an F1 shot, but I’d offer a few words of warning to him and Red Bull: Grojean and Hulkenberg!


Ricciardo did very well. I was also pleasantly surprised with Perez and Bird.


Kudos to Davide Valsecchi for getting the HRT within 5 seconds (5%) of the leading time. Especially if we’re raving about how good that time was – his time was 2 seconds quicker than Senna’s Q1 time (and Senna was quicker than Klien).

Does he have a promising future ahead (or funds behind) him?

Chris from Adelaide

Good see we have a young aussie to fill webbers shoes when he retires 😀


Webber’s like good wine (not Canberra milk): he’ll get better with age.

Nigel Mansell became WDC at 40. Webber is ‘only’ 34. He’s got another few years left in him as long as he stays fit methinks.


Agreed! It’s a concern here in Oz that we are losing potential F1 talent to V8 Supercars, as they have grown to be so big now. But it’s fantastic to see a young Aussie not content to drive ‘taxi’s’ and with his eye on the big prize!


Boy.. this doesn’t seem to add up to the difficulty some new comers (and Schumacher) had with getting up to speed with the tires. These ‘kids’ didn’t seem to have much trouble learning the tires and how to manage them (at least how to get them up to ideal temperatures).

Are F1 cars too easy to drive (first time and they do similar times to a World Champion!)??



for sure easier than in the turbo era, but still difficult. They get to a point realy fast, but then they are unable to improve. Look at sutil, and rosberg.


When Schu struggled with the tyres he would lose about 0.250 seconds on a qualifying lap to Rosberg. If you can see that Riccardio is not losing those 0.250 or so seconds to Vettel & Webbo on a track at a totally different time with totally different grip conditions then you sir are a genius!

Basically its easy to believe a headline, but that doesn’t make it a fact.


N.B By “believing a headline” I mean believing the media stories questioning why certain drivers & seemed to struggle “adjusting to tyres” etc.


James, any news about Jerome’s future with Virgin now that they closed a sponsor deal with Marussia?

I really hope that he will get to seat, it would be nice for us Belgians and our GP.


It was frustrating that Paul DiResta was only allowed to run in the morning as it would have been interesting how close he would have got to Ricciardo’s tome had he been running when track conditions were at their best…


James, do you think that Red Bull have shown their cards too early by signing Algersuari and Buemi for next year when Ricciardo is clearly a talent that deserves to be in Formula One.


I suspect of things don’t go well it will be another bourdais situation….

The younger guys contracts are likely to have performance clauses and ultimately can be paid up by someone with redbulls riches (ahem….sorry I mean torro rosso 🙂

I imagine they will start with the season with alguersuari and buemi and see what happens.

Chris of Adelaide

Agreed. I think Ricciardo has more tallent then buemi and algersuari, they havnt impressed me this year at all. a much great change at sucess then the likes of Sergio Perez & Pastor Maldonado. Sadly money talks


Brilliant. Can’t wait to see Ricciardo with a full time drive!


So what is the definition of a young gun? Gary Paffett is 29!


He’s also doing the Pirelli testing for McLaren as their test driver.


1 – Sebastian Vettel

2 – Fernando Alonso

3 – Lewis Hamilton

4 – Mark Webber

5 – Nico Rosberg


Just what they need at redbull, another fast Aussie 🙂

Very impressive from him in what I think is his 4th day of driving an f1 car.

It will be interesting to see how the pirellis compare in terms of ultimate pace and durability. I’m hoping for a little less longevity next year through different compounds.


Ricciardo sounds a little like an amalgamation of the current Red Bull line-up into one man…

Affable Australian…

…with time on his side…

…who’s about 3 1/10ths off Vettel…

…but backed by Red Bull from the cradle…

A potential delemma in the making for Dr Marko!


no demlema. He’ll put the guy in a toro rosso eithe in 2011, or 2012. Buemi and alguersari have one. To be or not to be…a f1 driver.

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