Young Driver Test Day One: McLaren’s Magnussen tops timesheets
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Jul 2013   |  7:43 pm GMT  |  76 comments

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen set the pace on day one of the so-called young driver test at Silverstone.

The 20-year-old completed 100 laps with a best time of 1m33.602s, 0.172 seconds faster than Force India’s Paul di Resta with Red Bull’s Antonio Felix da Costa third.

Race drivers are allowed to take part in the three-day test providing they focus on tyre work for Pirelli. On Wednesday, Di Resta and Marussia’s Max Chilton were the only current drivers in action.

Lotus announced that Kimi Raikkonen would no longer take part in this week’s test, while Red Bull also made changes to their schedule with the team withdrawing Mark Webber. Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s chance in a Red Bull has been moved to Thursday afternoon.

Britain’s James Calado produced an impressive performance on his full F1 test debut with the fourth fastest time, nearly four tenths off the pace, before handing the car over to Di Resta in the afternoon.

Reigning Euroseries champion Daniel Juncadella was fifth in the Williams ahead of Venezuela’s Johnny Cecotto in the Toro Rosso.

Sauber’s Robin Frijns was seventh ahead of Nicolas Prost in the Lotus and Davide Rigon in the Ferrari.

Caterham’s reserve driver Alexander Rossi was 10th, clocking up 36 laps, ahead of the Marussia duo of Tio Ellinas, the current GP3 championship leader, and Chilton.

Chilton, who drove the car in the afternoon, lost track time as the team fixed an ECU problem and he only managed to complete 27 laps.

Young drivers test – Silverstone – Day one

1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m33.602s, 100 laps

2. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1m33.774s, 58 laps

3. Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, 1m33.821s, 82 laps

4. James Calado, Force India, 1m33.986s, 27 laps

5. Daniel Juncadella, Williams, 1m34.098s, 55 laps

6. Johnny Cecotto, Toro Rosso, 1m34.193s, 75 laps

7. Robin Frijns, Sauber, 1m34.236s, 72 laps

8. Nicolas Prost, Lotus, 1m34.810s, 72 laps

9. Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1m34.874s, 76 laps

10. Alexander Rossi, Caterham, 1m35.651s, 69 laps

11. Tio Ellinas, Marussia, 1m36.676s, 36 laps

12. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1m38.347s, 27 laps

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So many silly people drawing conclusion from so many teams running so many new parts by new drivers running different programs.

I found it interesting that Kimi tweeted- good work to Nico Prost-which suggests their testing program is yielding results. I was not at all surprised to see Ricciados pacein the TR compared to his later RBR-Again people have to remember hes been driving the STR for 2 years and not 2min in the Red Bull.


Er… Wasn’t Suzy Wolfe supposed to be in this test? Or is that another day…


Definitely need more facts about the car and track condition before you can draw a conclusion. Very exciting stuff though!


Come on guys i am so sick of hearing people compare drivers and car pace on a testing session. I feel this frustration when people jump to conclusions in FP1 and FP2 of any circuit and get excited about pace of cars.

These cars are so complex and with so many variables, test programs, Tyre compounds, different drivers, split strategies, fuel loads, car setup, temperature and the other million variables that all go into making one car quicker than another. The next time i hear some noob tell me how his team is faster than mine in FP1 im going to punch them in the face and also i cant stand those people that jump on the bandwagon and comment on how Webber came 1st in FP1 because they heard it on the news and want to get involved (im Aussie by the way) So frustrating LOL. Come on does anyone know what im talking about here, thats why i thank goodness for JA and this website and all you hardcore fans. I absolutely love reading the comments… so addictive.


C’mon guys, don’t be so naive. You cannot draw so much conclusion from these lap times without having more facts about the car and track conditions. For example, was Magnussens time an impressive race pace or a slow qualifying lap? Obviously he is not faster in a McLaren than Di Resta in a Force India. Sure Chilton is out of his depth in F1, but we know he is capable of going a few seconds quicker around Silverstone. However, whatever the conditions, I think all the times by the yound drivers are pretty solid, which is good news for the future.


One quarter of that field are sons of former F1 drivers; cool.


I’m very happy to know that fathers of Alonzo, Hamilton, Vettel, and Räikkönen were mechanic, IT manager, carpenter, and road builder, respectively.


Do we know what tyres they are using? Are they using the variety that failed at the BGP to find out more about why they failed are or they using the new ones to prove that they don’t fail like the old ones did?


They are using a tyre that will be taken to Hungary. Not the BGP tyres. The YD are not crash test dummies 😉


We can’t take anything out of the testing “lap times”. People thinking that all of a sudden over the course of 2 weeks that red bull have been caught by force India and mclaren is now up with the top teams are just that little bit too optimistic. May I remind you of Jerez in February? Wasn’t Jenson quickest by a large distance sparking everybody in the paddock to think wow mclaren have got this season sewn up! You’ll probably find that magnussens fast time was set on a 10-15 lap run. Don’t forget different compounds at different scales of their life expectancy.


That was largely down to the fact that Mclaren accidently set their car up wrong which made the car very quick but unfortunately for them it was outside of the rules.


That was with a suspension part fitted the wrong way round giving them an unrealistic ride height. Didn’t realise it was outside of the rules I assumed it was just suited to Jerez the way it was fitted.


Magnuessen a future F1 star for sure. Brilliant driver with brilliant potenital. Hope he can help Mclaren with their woes. Other names to look out for i the future include: Calado, Cecotto and Ellinas.

Andrew Woodruff

Why are the top teams now withdrawing their race drivers? After all the hot air expended after the British GP and the Merc test, it seems no-one is really that bothered about testing the tyres after all.

Pirelli has changed the tyres since the blow outs, which it had wanted to before Silverstone anyway, and surprise surprise, there were no issues at Nurburgring. So now the teams prefer to run the young drivers to focus on car development rather than tyres.

What a waste of time, money and column inches!


I agree. I don’t have the details as I’m just an F1 fan. But the apparent hipocracy is just sickening.

Only Red Bull seems committed to fielding two race drivers. Ferrari for all the noise and Alonso who said he was fearful for his life when the tyres exploded in front of him doesn’t seem bothered to turn up.

All this talk about life and safety is just talk. When if comes to contributing to safety – no action. All talk and no action.


Hi James

Do u not think the biggest gainers even after missing out of the YDT are Merc. They were able to do the secret test with their current drivers without the prying eyes of their rivals and they will also get the data of this test from Pirelli.


Mercedes are probably the biggest losers, to add to what James said at the YDT they are focusing on testing a small range of tyres which will be used for the rest of the season but at Barcelona Mercedes didn’t know what they were testing and Pirelli were throwing all sorts of compounds at them that may never be used.


What James explained is very true. Teams seem to be prioritizing rookies over race drivers in order to try new parts. Eg Lotus and McLaren not running any of their race drivers, Alonso’s flip flop as to whether he would or would not participate – eventually deciding it was not worth the effort and rely on Massa.


Not really. The YDT will cover more than 1,000kms Merc did. Also free to try new things when Young Drivers are in car.


Although they can do aero test at constant speed to check correlation issues, trying new parts with young drivers at the wheel does not report much benefits. It is essential the drivers that have been involved on car development (titulars and reserve drivers) try these updates. Not to say Mercedes where alone at the track. If you ask any team they would prefer Mercedes “secret” test with titular drivers above this young drivers test any time.


I am somewhat confused over the Red Bull decision to withdraw MW from this test. When Mercedes were in the dock over tyre testing, Mr Horner would tell any journalist, who would stand still for long enough, how huge the advantage was for the Mercedes to run a tyre test with their current drivers. Now his team has the chance, they appear to be waiving the opportunity. Likewise, Lotus have withdrawn Kimi – all very confusing.

I am starting to wander whether Mr H was just using the media in order to stir the pot 😉

No, he wouldn’t do that, would he?


I believe FIA clarified that Ricciardo, Webber and Vettel in the RB will count as 3 race drivers, thereby breaching the 2 race drivers limit. So they had to drop one race driver.


good point. Actually I think RB are being very naughty using Ricciardo. They have certainly gone against the spirit of the idea of allowing race drivers to take part in the YD test – and almost definitely against what the FIA had intended.

The way they like to bend rules I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kimi in the Red Bull tomorrow!


This attack on Horner is baseless, Merc will get all the data anyway their punishment is actually pathetic…


Attack? Not at all, I was merely pointing out that Mr Horner made quite a fuss when Mercedes participated in the Pirelli tyre test. Now he has the opportunity to replicate the circumstances, which had so vexed him, he has declined to do so. Do you not see the contradiction between his words and actions?


If I am not mistaken, it’s because they are only allowed 1 day of testing with current (non young drive) drivers. They would be getting 1.5 days with current drivers if MW was included.


They withdrew Mark due to the limit on regular drivers testing. RB have 2 current F1 drivers conducting testing as well as 2 YD’s.

I would say they are better placed to take advantage of the tests than any other team. To indicate that RBR dont give a s### is bizarre.

Hate them or love them, they are not stupid.


To be clear, I didn’t suggest that RBR don’t give a S###, nor did I say they were stupid. I was commenting on the apparent contradiction in Mr Horners comments and his subsequent actions, when presented with a similar opportunity (to the Mercedes tyre test).


Red Bull and Lotus thought the conditions of the tyre testing wasn’t so strict and limited with what you could change on the car. I think they only got the exact brief yesterday morning and that’s why the changes at the last minute to rookie drivers.

There where no representatives of other teams at the Pirelli Mercedes test and it was carried out in a very secretive way so no one can be really sure what happened there.


@Iuqa, we don’t know what testing programmes the teams were running. It’s a bit steep to suggest some drivers or teams were “not that good” when we don’t have a breakdown of their test regimes.

Who’s to say McLaren and Williams weren’t going for outright pace, while Red Bull and Lotus weren’t more interested in trying (for example) a radicle new aero design or suspension setup?

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Plenty of test time left.

JA, any chance of some analysis?


We will do at the end


it is always important not to get too carried away with testing times and try to match those with full race conditions. there is a world of difference between the two.


Absolutely..There are too many people here forgetting that teams are running all sorts of sensors on the cars and are even required to drive at a consistent pace to get accurate and relevan data. Forgetting also that 50kg fuel diff at any given time equates to 1.5sec by itself..Then we havent even started talking about tyres..Some people honestly..


exactement, mon ami. ricciardo’s performnace would be an open book for RB. this is simply a public outing for him and a chance to guage his ability to move from one car to another so that they can measure any relativity in his performances… as well as a host of other points on their check out list.

all in all i think he came out of it quite well IMO of corse.


2013 British GP – pole 1:29.6 to 10th 1:30.9

Fastest race laps – 1:33.4 to 1:39.1

I believe it is too difficult to read too much into what work each driver is doing just by looking at the times even though the times are similar to race pace but with warmer (read hot) conditions now there is thankfully no headline about tyre failures. For all the Pirellii bashing, this has to be a positive day for them.

James, Gary Anderson did an interesting piece on BBC straight after the race about the kerb construction & how this could have caused some of the damage to the left rears. Has Siverstone modified their kerbs or are the drivers now taking a different line through those fast left handers?

Btw – I am not hijack the YD test to talk tyres only but it is the reason we have current drivers attending.


@Irish Con, erm, maybe just better to be with Red Bull? 😉

@luqa It is F1 testing…


Both DiResta and Chilton are 1 second faster than their best lap time during the British GP.

If we adjust the times by 1 second, those running in the 1min 33’s would be on race pace with the current F1 field. Those in the 1min 34’s are slow.

Those in the 35’s and above are not in F1, but in the exclusive Marussia Caterham race between a class of 2!


During the exploding Pirelli tyre saga it was said that race drivers are important for the tests so that Pirelli has the right data.

What do you guys make of McLaren not sending race drivers to the test?

Are race drivers in fact not important and it was just an excuse?

Or is McLaren not bothered about contributing to tyre safety? Wanting to “free ride” the contribution of others?

I genuinely don’t know – and would be interested in your insights.


I actually think it was about McLaren wanting to make other adjustments than just tyres, and knowing they could not do that with Jenson or Checo in the car. They know Magnussen, he practically could BE an F1 driver with the practice he has had. So they have benchmarks, and they wanted to test….which is what this entire season has turned into for McLaren. And THAT is not a criticism, BTW…I actually totally back what they have done with the 2013 car, and their strategy…they NEED this data from a high-chassis car in 2013 to tune for 2014, and there was no other way to get it with the limited testing rules. PAINFUL, but the right way to move forward strategically.


What you write makes a lot of sense.


I think F1 struggles more than enough to give emerging talent a showcase without established drivers taking positions at Young Drivers Tests.


True. Some of the young drivers have been quite exciting. Hope they get a shot at F1.


Without knowing the weather conditions- track temperatures etc, at first blush it would seem:

– Chilton should hang up his helmet and make room for someone else

– the Mclaren can’t be that bad if Magnussen can top the charts

-The Red Bull is not that good if DiResta can only manage to beat it by less than half a tenth, or conversely da Costa is not that good.

Interesting to note top 6 drivers within 0.6sec. – including the Williams!


Current drivers can only test tires and do front wing adjustments. That could be a factor.


I am very tempted to think the same things but we really need to wait for the 3 days testing before drawing conclusions.


F1 really isn’t that simple…


Exactly. You often see top drivers at the bottom of the time-sheets on Fridays. Doesn’t mean they’ve suddenly lost speed. They’re testing. And without knowing what they’re doing the times don’t mean a thing. Same here. It’s a test, not qualy. Chilton may or may not be worth his place but this day’s work doesn’t amount to a hill of beans either way. Sheesh.


Totally agree that Chilton is lacking in tallent and pace. I think his F1 career will only be as long as his father’s pockets are deep. Especially when a total F1 novice beat his time in the same machine. I do understand that test times are not definitive but suerly all the drivers where give a handful of laps on low fuel in qually trim.

I also share your thorts on the McLaren too, but I think they were all still a fair way off in F1 terms of Lewis’ pole time 4weeks ago. (I do accept tho its a different day with slightly different conditions)


Chilton should hang up his helmet and make room for someone else…

Did you really need to wait for this test to reach that conclusion? 😉


Right about Chilton. He would never even have been considered for a Formula 1 drive if he wasn’t made of money. Same for Pic.


I dont agree with Pic-I reckon hes ok.


“- the Mclaren can’t be that bad if Magnussen can top the charts”

I think it speaks more of Magnussen’s talent.


Magnussen may be good, but do you really think he’s better than an F1 World Champion, Checo who is clearly no slouch…and if he was a second a lap quicker that McLaren wouldn’t drop him into a race seat as one of the drivers had got ill for one race?


I wouldnt be surprised if they were on different tyres. They raced on the medium/hards and have the softs available for the test.


Chilton was testing 2014 parts.


Hopefully the 2014 parts he’s tetsting are a different driver’s seat and pedals.


I may be wrong, but my understanding was that current drivers could only take part if they were testing tyres – has that changed does anyone know?

Robin Venables

“Race drivers are allowed to take part in the three-day test providing they focus on tyre work for Pirelli.”

That would seem to preclude him from testing parts for next year.


Wow. Max Chilton really isn’t very good is he.


Excellent weather yet the crowd today was tiny.

Unbelievable considering tickets are only £15!!!!


I live in London and I would love to go but the public transport links to the circuit are pretty awful and I don’t own a car. I would be there every day if I could. The price is perfect.


The transport links really are terrible. I live at Kings Cross and it would take me at least 2 hrs to get there… hence the reason i’m hiring a car (2 weeks after my driving test…)!


I think both magnussen and felix da costa will both be in f1 next year. So does that mean that it’s now better to be in FR 3.5 rather than gp2? Both class acts with good backing.


I am surprised that more people are NOT writing about James Calado, only 2/10ths down on one of the best performers of 2013 (Paul Di Resta); and British, to boot.

Isn’t anyone else taking note?


I don’t think Kevin will be there 2014, or leastwise I can’t think of what team he could get signed by.

But he does seem like a level-headed (and fast) guy with the right amount of confidence, so I don’t doubt he will be in F1 some day.


“So does that mean that it’s now better to be in FR 3.5 rather than gp2?”

Not really.

Robin Frijns won the FR 3.5 Championship in his rookie season last year. He’s finding it rather more difficult to keep up this year in GP2.


Actually Robin has already won a race and also a 2nd place this season in GP2. It was his second GP2 weekend. That for a guy who was called to jump in car after the season was well on its way.

Robin will get there.


“Robin Frijns won the FR 3.5 Championship in his rookie season last year. He’s finding it rather more difficult to keep up this year in GP2.”

Not really

Frijns joined a new to GP2 team with Hilmer and missed the first 2 races of the season, then scored a win and a 2nd in only his second GP2 weekend. Keeping up ain’t the problem


Clearly McLarens problems are their drivers. Sack them immediately.


Why’s that then? Jenson is a world champion and outscored Hamilton over 3 years not to mention he beat beat Hamilton comfortably in 2011, Perez brings in a bucket load of cash from Carlos Slim”s operations and he’s actually not a bad driver, maybe FI should look at Di Resta’s performances as he’s on a similar level to Razia or whatever he’s called.


Sarcasm my friend.


Can it be that Horner’s oh-so-valuable tire tests don’t seem to be that valuable anymore, once they’ve discovered the limited possibilities? Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Well, we all knew Formula-1 is a pool full of Piranhas, but you see: Mercedes haven’t complained a lot in the past 3 years, Red Bull and Ferrari, on the other hand, make an awful noise just to denounce the competition – and I think that doesn’t make them look so sportsmanlike.


Amazing! Max Chilton can’t even beat (or compete) with this lot!!


I think it sys an awful lot about his car. The bigger shock for me is that he was nearly 2 seconds down on the other marussia. However, they may be running different aero set ups, gear ratios, parts, lap deltas, fuel loads and tyres etc. Who knows!


Well apparently he was “tyre testing”…

Ah I don’t know it seems like Chilton doesn’t really cut it in F1 he’s constantly almost a second slower than Bianchi, it could be the first and last year of Max’s F1 career, but oh wait he brings in money he might keep his seat.

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