Abu Dhabi Test Day 3: Valsecchi fastest on final day

Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Lotus F1 E20. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 8 November 2012.

Davide Valsecchi ended the third day at Yas Marina fastest of all

Nov.8 (GP247) Lotus ended a successful week in Abu Dhabi when 2012 GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi ended the final day of the Young Drivers Test at Yas Marina Circuit at the top of the timing sheets.

Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Lotus F1 Team. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 8 November 2012.Valsecchi also did more laps (86 in total) than any other driver on the day on his way to setting the best lap time of 1 minute 42.677  seconds.

In the morning session the team  concentrated on aerodynamic testing and DDRS iterations and dedicated the afternoon to front drum testing and a tyre assessment programme.

Valsecchi said at the end of the day, “It’s been a really good experience for me. I was very pleased with my sessions and followed everything the team asked of me without making any mistakes. I took it very easy in the morning so [that] I could get used to the car and soon became more confident, meaning [that] towards the end I was much better in terms of pace.”

Kevin Magnussen ended the day second fastest, after taking over the McLaren cockpit from Oliver Turvey in the afternoon and was fifth fastest.

Turvey was tasked with gathering data and evaluating a new front wing for the MP4-27 in the early session, while Magnussen worked on setup in an effort to unlock tyre performance.

Robin Frijns (NDL) Red Bull Racing RB8 with aero paint on the rear wing. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 8 November 2012.

The young Dane clocked up sufficient mileage during his two days on track to be able to apply for an F1 Superlicence.

Sauber gave Esteban Gutierrez as second run in the C31 and the young Mexican ended the day third fastest. He reported afterwards, “I think today’s programme was very useful. Not only for me, but also for the team because we were able to test and analyse a lot of different things. I tried to give precise feedback over the day and in the end I was pushing a bit with the soft tyres, but I must admit I didn’t manage to make use of the peak of the tyres’ performance.”

Robin Frijns earned his place in the Red Bull RB8 cockpit by virtue of winning this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 series and ended the day fourth fastest. The Dutchman did duty for Sauber on day two in Abu Dhabi.

He summed up his day with Red Bull, “In the morning I was driving a little in cruise control as we were doing some aero work and the team needed accurate data with the flow-vis. In the afternoon there was some mechanical work, which was good and I think the team gathered a lot of useful data.”

Alexander Rossi (USA) Caterham CT01 third driver. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 8 November 2012.Luiz Razia had his second day of action with Toro Rosso, and set the sixth best time despite feeling unwell, “It was tough for me today, because I’ve been running a fever, although it didn’t stop me completing the programme. Like on Tuesday, the team had plenty of work for me to do and I was happy that I was able to find a good balance on the car and also had more confidence when it came to changing settings from the steering wheel while I was driving.”

American F1 hopeful Alexander Rossi was back in the Caterham cockpit, having done the Abu Dhabi test last year too, and ended the day slowest of the seven drivers who did duty on the day. Nevertheless he racked up a useful 85 laps in the process despite his day ending prematurely due to an oil leak.

“It’s obviously not ideal that we had to end the session early, but when I boxed after my 14th run there was oil on the garage floor so the engineers had to call the session over. That meant I didn’t have the chance to do any performance runs and I’m sure if I did my laptimes would have been close to the race drivers, but issues like that are just one of those things. They’ll take a proper look at what caused the problem and I’m sure it won’t affect the team’s preparations for Austin or Brazil.” said the American.

“Despite that it’s been a great day and another step in my development as a driver. The next time I’ll be in a race car will be in Jerez for the GP2 test with Caterham Racing and I’m really looking forward to picking up where we left off in Barcelona as the quickest car,” added Rossi.

Subbed by AJN.

Unofficial Thursday test times from Yas Marina:

  1. Davide Valsecchi, Lotus, 1m 42.677s, 86 Laps
  2. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 42.827s, 51 Laps
  3. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 43.093s, 80 Laps
  4. Robin Frijns, Red Bull, 1m 43.233s, 53 Laps
  5. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1m 43.604s, 44 Laps
  6. Luiz Razia, Toro Rosso, 1m 45.286s, 68 Laps
  7. Alexander Rossi, Caterham, 1m 46.485s, 85 Laps