Young Driver Test: Day Two

Day two timesheets:


Pos. Driver Nat. Team Time Laps
1 Jean-Eric Vergne FRA Red Bull 1:40.188 17
2 Jules Bianchi FRA Ferrari 1:40.383 45
3 Valterri Bottas FIN Williams 1:42.548 38
4 Gary Paffett GBR McLaren 1:42.645 23
5 Esteban Gutierrez MEX Sauber 1:43.637 47
6 Sam Bird GBR Mercedes 1:43.734 43
7 Luiz Razia BRA Team Lotus 1:44.323 44
8 Kevin Korjus EST Renault 1:44.425 38
9 Kevin Ceccon ITA Toro Rosso 1:44.947 41
10 Johnny Cecotto Jr. VEN Force India 1:45.475 39
11 Jan Charouz CZE HRT 1:46.728 37
12 Charles Pic FRA Virgin 1:48.397 21


Pos. Driver Nat. Team Time Laps
1 Jean-Eric Vergne FRA Red Bull 1:40.188 43
2 Jules Bianchi FRA Ferrari 1:40.279 91
3 Gary Paffett GBR McLaren 1:41.756 71
4 Valterri Bottas FIN Williams 1:42.367 88
5 Johnny Cecotto Jr. VEN Force India 1:42.873 84
6 Esteban Gutierrez MEX Sauber 1:43.637 96
7 Sam Bird GBR Mercedes 1:43.734 94
8 Kevin Korjus EST Renault 1:43.776 70
9 Luiz Razia BRA Team Lotus 1:43.944 89
10 Kevin Ceccon ITA Toro Rosso 1:44.808 97
11 Jan Charouz CZE HRT 1:46.644 56
12 Charles Pic FRA Virgin 1:46.698 61
13 Nathanael Berthon FRA HRT 1:48.646 9


Ferrari: The team’s task for today, along with Bianchi was to test developmental engine component as well as continuing to evaluate future Pirelli rubber. Close to pipping Vergne to the top spot it was another productive day for the Italian outfit. “I was able to do a lot of kilometres and so we were able to complete all of the planned programme, while I was also able to improve on my lap time from yesterday.”

Force India: Cecotto Jr. jumped into the car today and continued the programme Chilton began yesterday. Like most other teams the focus today was getting to grips with the developmental rubber. According to race support and strategy engineer Oliver Knighton, Cecotto Jr. acclimatised to the car quickly and was found to switch modes without a prompt. “Amazing is the only word to describe today,” Cecotto Jr. said. “Everything was just incredible from the moment I left the pits to begin my first lap. These cars are so impressive: the power, the braking performance and the aerodynamic grip you get through the corners – it makes you say ‘wow’.”

HRT: By joining HRT for the test Charouz, a Renault reserve driver, has completed the necessary distance required (300 km) to be granted a full FIA Superlicence. “I was feeling more comfortable lap by lap, as I was getting to know the car better and how different controls worked. It was also my first chance to use DRS, which was really nice to experience – there are so many things you have to do at the same time and it was good to start to get used to it.” Charous was also impressed with the speed in which the team change the engine after an issue arose in the afternoon. Berthon joined in the fun to complete 9 laps ahead of a full day tomorrow. “I wasn’t able to run for much but it was incredible to get out on the track with an F1 car. It’s important to do laps to adapt to the driving posture, so that I can start tomorrow’s test comfortably and get the most out of it.”

McLaren: A bit slow to release their round up from the day, McLaren are still running Paffett and he came within a second of the frontrunners in the form of Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes: Bird continued his work in the Mercedes, today focusing on the 2012 Pirelli tyres the manufacturer had provided for the three-day test. “We made some very good progress with the programme today and were able to achieve all of the goals that we intended. It was interesting to try out the new 2012 Pirelli tyres for the first time, and I enjoyed the experience. Overall it was a very good day for us and I’m looking forward to completing our programme of test items tomorrow.”

Red Bull: Vergne retained the top spot for the second day, but not without the return of a Red Bull KERS issue that has befallen the regular line up. In the morning the car suffered from a sensor issue that interrupted the programme, then the KERS issue arose in the afternoon.

Renault:Korjus spent the day adjusting to the demands that F1 presents, namely the effect of braking on the body. However he was disappointed not to have set a faster time and assures he could do that if he had the opportunity to run tomorrow. “I’m not so happy about the best laptime I did, but overall it went quite well. I’m sure if I were to drive tomorrow I would get a much better laptime.” Korjus added, “I was surprised by the brakes of this car. You can really brake late and feel how your body has to stop. I found that quite difficult. The straightline speed is not so big a difference. But when you press the KERS and the DRS you can feel that the car is quick.”

Sauber: The team chose to focus on evaluating the experimental 2012 Pirelli tyres today, using their reserve driver Gutierrez to do so. This si the fourth time he has climbed behind the wheel (young driver test 2009, 2010, straightline test 2011). Dall’Ara, head of track engineering, noted the design of the 2012 tyre was different, and that Gutierrez was mature and gave valuable feedback. “It was a great day for me to learn about the different tyres. It is quite challenging to adapt from one to another, and you have to be sensible enough not to push too hard when you have less grip.” Sauber lost 20 minutes due to a loss of hydraulic pressure.

Team Lotus: After getting Razia familiar with the car, the team got down to necessary work in the form of damper testing, and measuring the correlation between the car and the factory models. “The last time I drove the T128 was in Barcelona; the car has improved a lot since then and I feel Pirelli have done a great job with the tyres. I feel that the car is easier to drive and I felt more confident to push and get the most out of it that I could.”

Toro Rosso: It was Ceccon’s first day in the car and it was the Italian’s turn to get involved in an aerodynamic test in the morning. Then it was a switch to tyre work in the afternoon. “This was an incredible experience for me, driving a Formula 1 car and working with this team.” Ceccon added, I drove two long runs, from which I was able to understand a lot. In fact, I felt that in one day of testing with an F1 car, I learned more than in several days in other categories of car!”

Virgin: Further fuelling the rumours that Pic has already signed to the team, he will be given extra time in the Virgin car tomorrow. Concentrating on tyre comparisons today, he was apparently unable to complete the programme and therefore the extra time tomorrow is explained. “We made two longer brake evaluation runs and this afternoon we did a test of new Pirelli tyres, but this time only for a few laps; we used four different specifications of tyre and it was very interesting to see the difference and get this information.”

Williams: More tyres tests in the Williams garage, and according to the team it was a busy programme to complete. Despite an electrical problem in the middle of their day, the gathered a lot of data which should help them throughout the off-season. Bottas commented on the effects of driving an F1 car, “It was really good to work with the team again today and I feel we achieved what we wanted to. Physically is was as demanding as the first day with the heat and different levels of G-forces; it was hard work but in the end wasn’t a problem. It has been a great opportunity for me here and I have really enjoyed every moment.”


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