Another second-generation F1 driver in the works? Kevin Magnussen ended his first day of F1 driving atop the timesheets at Abu Dhabi

Kevin Magnussen has ended the opening day of this year’s final ‘Young Drivers’ test session atop the timesheets in his maiden outing with McLaren. The Dane, son of former McLaren racer Jan Magnussen, beat Red Bull protégé António Félix da Costa to top spot by just six-hundredths of a second.

Magnussen shared driving duties with McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett, with the youngster getting the morning’s running, while Paffett took over in the afternoon, finishing over three-quarters of a second slower over his 44 laps of running in the MP4-27.

Paffett’s work was spent trialing a host of new aerodynamic parts that McLaren will hope to run in the final races at Austin and Sao Paulo, or which could alternatively be used on next year’s challenger.

Newly-crowned WSR 3.5 champion Robin Frijns finished fourth-quickest in his first ever F1 outing. The Dutch driver earned a call-up with Sauber – who are believed to hold an option on his services – and clocked the most laps of any driver, en route to a best time of 1:43.775.

Also having his first F1 outing in current-spec F1 machinery was Nicolas Prost, son of four-time World Champion Alain Prost. The Frenchman posted 55 laps in his sole day’s running in the Lotus, which he will hand over to DTM racer Edoardo Mortara.

Luiz Razia had the first of two scheduled days’ running with the Toro Rosso outfit, and finished the day sixth-quickest in the STR7, just under half a second off Prost’s pace.

Slowest of all was Giedo van der Garde in the Caterham, with the lower-grid outfit giving its reserve driver two days’ running in the CT01.

2012 Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ Test Session – Day 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Kevin Magnussen DEN McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:42.651   40
2. António Félix da Costa POR Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:42.717 + 0.066 79
3. Gary Paffett GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:43.407 + 0.756 44
4. Robin Frijns NED Sauber Ferrari C31 1:43.775 + 1.124 78
5. Nicolas Prost FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:44.194 + 1.543 55
6. Luiz Razia BRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:44.691 + 2.040 67
7. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT01 1:45.936 + 3.285 57

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.