Formula 1 Young Driver Test (Yas Marina, November 17th)

For the second consecutive day, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo topped the young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Australian set a time that was 1.2 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel’s Saturday pole position and a full 0.7 of-a-second faster than Jerome d’Ambrosio – this bodes well for Ricciardo, who also topped the rookie sessions last year 

Next up were British pair of Sam Bird (Mercedes, 3rd) and Gary Paffett (McLaren 4th), while Jules Bianchi continued the programme his began yesterday, registering the 5th fastest time in the process in the midst of a 93-lap day. Pastor Maldonado had an interrupted session in his début with the Williams team – the Venezuelan secured the 8th quickest lap time, despite sensor failures in the afternoon. Next up was Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso; although the new British Formula 3 Champion missed out on the final hours of the session; he has to begin a long journey to China for this weekend’s Macau Grand Prix.

Hispania Racing ran GP2 Asia champion, Davide Valsecchi in the afternoon, following on from Josef Král in the morning; while Luiz Razia completed a 70 lap run for Virgin Racing. The Lotus pairing of Rodolfo Gonzalez and Vladimir Arabadzhiev brought up the rear in terms of times – they notched up 90 laps between them.

There were several red flag stoppages today, most notably for a spin by d’Ambrosio in his Renault; however there were other red flags for either debris or cars being stopped on circuit. Once again, it is impossible to truly read much into the laptimes – each driver programme may entail vastly different projects, while there is no doubt that the circuit conditions are also changing on a consistent basis.

Abu Dhabi, Young Driver Test (November 17th)

Pos  Driver                Car          Time       Laps
 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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