Abu Dhabi Test Day 2: Da Costa quickest

Antonio Felix da Costa driving the Red Bull RB8 during the F1 Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit on November 6, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Antonio Felix da Costa driving the Red Bull RB8 during the F1 Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit

Nov.7 (GP247) Antonio Felix da Costa drove the pace setting Red Bull RB8 to the top of the the timing screens at the end of the second day of the Abu Dhabi F1 Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit.

Antonio Felix da Costa (POR) Red Bull Racing. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 3 November 2012.The Portuguese driver set the best time of 1 minute 42.679 seconds which was enough to ensure that he left the marina on a high. He summed up his day: “Again, we did a lot of mileage, which is good for me and for the team. On a day like this, when the conditions are perfect for testing, and with two grands prix to go, I think the team needs to make the most of it and today I think we did that.”

The benchmark time was McLaren‘s Lewis Hamilton pole position winning lap time of 1 minute 40.630 seconds for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a few days earlier. Da Costa’s best time was 0.018 seconds shy of Kevin Magnussen’s best lap on the opening day.

Gary Paffett continued in the McLaren cockpit for the morning session with Oliver Turvey on duty in the afternoon. Together the pair clocked up 103 laps as the team team put more miles on a number of aerodynamic developments, including a new front wing, and evaluating revised suspension geometry, with an eye towards monitoring resultant tyrewear, degradation and heating.

Edoardo Mortara (ITA) Lotus F1 E20. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Two, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday 7 November 2012.For day two at Lotus Edoardo Mortara, took over from Nicolas Prost and ended the day third fastest as the team used the opportunity to do more aerodynamic work including running two iterations of the DDRS.

Mortara was clearly elated with the opposrtunity, I had a wonderful time and I’m so grateful to everyone at Lotus F1 Team for giving me this opportunity; I enjoyed every lap. At the same time, it was pretty tough; I’ve come from a car which is a lot slower and the first laps were certainly an eye opener. I improved gradually over the day and I think my progression was pretty good. Every time I was on track I got a little bit better. I completed the test programme scheduled by the team so it’s satisfying to be able to contribute to their season. It’s been one of the best days of my life.”

Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez, who is being tipped to replace McLaren bound Sergio Perez in the team for 2013, finished the day fourth quickest and with 94 laps on his chart he was the busiest of the drivers in action on the day.

Gutierrez said, “The morning session was very interesting for me because we tested a lot of different things, and I hope I gave my most precise feedback to the engineers. After being in the car so recently in India, of course, I feel a lot more confident in handling all the system like KERS and DRS. In the morning session I used only hard tyres, but in the afternoon I certainly enjoyed running the medium as well as the soft compound. The last sector of the track I find a bit tricky, especially turn 20. I don’t have the confidence yet to push harder there.”

Johnny Cecotto Jr who tested for Force India last year at the same test was on duty for Toro Rosso this time around. The team focussed on aero development work in the afternoon after the Venezuelan had acclimatised to the car he had never driven.

“It’s great to be back in a Formula 1 car after having tested here in Abu Dhabi last year and to add some more kilometres under my belt. The day went very well and I enjoyed working with the team. The level of professionalism, number of systems on the car and the amount of people working in the team always impresses me. It was also nice to have driven a Ferrari engine, a name which is like a piece of history,” concluded Cecotto.

Giedo van der Garde, who is being touted as one of next year’s Caterham drivers, was back in the cockpit for a second day with the team. In the morning he worked on various setup configurationes before embarking on longer heavy fuel runs and tyre management in the afternoon session. he ended the day at the bottom of the timing sheets, with 72 laps to his credit.

Van der Garde reported, “We spent the morning running through more aero work and ran with a number of different setups that give the team a huge amount of data to work through that will be really useful for the last two races of the season. In the afternoon we switched to longer runs, looking at tyre management and how the car behaves on different fuel loads and I’m pleased with the progress we made. Towards the end of the session we put soft tyres on and I had a couple of runs that were closer to the performance runs we do in FP3 – the car had more fuel than in quali but I’m pretty happy with where I ended up.”

Subbed by AJN.

Yas Marina Test – Wednesday, 7 November unofficial times:

  1. Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, 1m 42.679s, 62 Laps
  2. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1m 43.176s, 62 Laps
  3. Edoardo Mortara, Lotus, 1m 43.418s, 75 Laps
  4. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 43.485s, 94 Laps
  5. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1m 43.771s, 41 Laps
  6. Johnny Cecotto Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m 44.569s, 76 Laps
  7. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1m 45.106s, 72 Laps