NOVEMBER 16, 2010
Abu Dhabi testing - Day 1
Just two days after Sebastian Vettel dominated in the Red Bull-Renault, Australian Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest driver in today's test for young drivers at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi - day 1 of 4.
Although the track conditions were better than in qualifying this past weekend, with estimates that the track was about a second quicker, Ricciardo impressed by taking the Red Bull around in a lap of 1m39.616s, a time that would have been good enough for third place on the grid for the Grand Prix.
Ricciardo said, "I knew I had the best car in the field, so I knew I had to be the quickest today, to show I'm not too bad myself. It worked, as I was very much the pace setter all day but to finish the session more than a second ahead of everybody was particularly satisfying. Ideally I'd like to be racing in F1 next season and I feel I'm ready. But there aren't that many seats available, so GP2 or another season in the World Series are also a possibility."
British driver Oliver Turvey was second fastest of the day in a McLaren-Mercedes, over a second behind the Red Bull, followed by Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa in the Force India, Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber, and Formula Two champion Dean Stoneman, driving the Williams to fifth place as his prize for winning the championship. Even though his day was cut short by mechanical problems, Stoneman said, "It was a big step coming from F2 but also a great experience".
Russian Mikhail Aleshin was sixth quickest in the Renault, a prize for winning the World Series this year, followed by French driver Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso, Paul di Resta, setting a benchmark time in the Force India for da Costa, Sam Bird in ninth in a Mercedes, Jerome d'Ambrosio in the Virgin, GP2 Champion Pastor Maldonado in the HRT (who set a time 1.3 seconds faster than the team's regular drivers in the Grand Prix), Jules Bianchi in the Ferarri, Rodolfo Gonzalez in the Lotus and Rio Haryanto, who at 17 years old became the youngest driver to ever test an f1 car in the Virgin was 14th quickest.
1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1m39.616
2. Oliver Turvey, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m40.725
3. Antonio Felix da Costa, Force India-Mercedes, 1m41.381
4. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m41.432
5. Dean Stoneman, Williams-Cosworth, 1m41.522
6. Mikhail Aleshin, Renault, 1m42.073
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1m42.489
8. Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes, 1m42.736
9. Sam Bird, Mercedes GP, 1m42.985
10. Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin-Cosworth, 1m43.518
11. Pastor Maldonado, HRT-Cosworth, 1m43.750
12. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1m43.894
13. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Lotus-Cosworth, 1m44.924
14. Rio Haryanto, Virgin-Cosworth, 1m49.439