Portugal's next F1 star? Antonio Felix da Costa impressed on his second day of running with Red Bull Racing

António Félix da Costa has taken Red Bull Racing to the top of the timesheets as the second day of running in the Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ test session drew to a close.

The Portuguese driver completed his second day of running at the wheel of the championship-leading RB8 – which he will now hand over to newly-crowned WSR 3.5 champion Robin Frijns – and steadily worked his way down towards a day’s best effort of 1:42.765, which was comfortably the quickest time of the day.

While fuel loads and car set-ups remain a closely guarded secret among the six teams in action at this event, his time was just 0.04 seconds faster than the best lap he put in on the opening day’s running, and less than two-hundredths slower than the best overall lap time put down by McLaren development driver Kevin Magnussen on Tuesday.

Felix da Costa finished half a second clear of the rest of the fieldFelix da Costa finished almost half a second faster than McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey, who was having his first of two half-day outings at the wheel of the MP4-27. After taking over driving duties from Gary Paffett – who posted a fastest time of 1:43.771 in his 41 tours of the Yas Marina circuit – Turvey put in a further 62 laps to finish just under six-tenths of a second quicker than his countryman.

DTM race-winner Edoardo Mortara had his first ever F1 outing with the Lotus team, and finished an impressive third-fastest.

Mortara was an impressive third-fastest in his maiden outing with LotusThe Italian finished fractionally quicker than Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez, who was having his first outing in the C31 since his last-minute call-up to drive in Friday practice at the Indian Grand Prix. The Mexican youngster posted the most laps of any of the drivers during the day’s running, and will remain behind the wheel for the final day of testing on Thursday.

Toro Rosso ran GP2 pay driver Johnny Cecotto Jr for this session, with the Venezuelan clocking up more F1 miles as he achieved a best effort of 1:44.569.

Once again, Giedo van der Garde brought up the rear on his second and final day’s running for Caterham. The Dutchman focused on a mix of aero development and tyre management tasks over his 72 laps of running, and managed to improve on his Tuesday lap-time to the tune of eight-tenths of a second. He will hand over the CT01 to Caterham’s other test driver, the American racer Alexander Rossi.


2012 Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ Test Session – Day 2 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. António Félix da Costa POR Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:42.679   61
2. Oliver Turvey GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:43.176 + 0.497 62
3. Edoardo Mortara ITA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:43.418 + 0.739 75
4. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:43.486 + 0.806 93
5. Gary Paffett GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:43.771 + 1.092 41
6. Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:44.569 + 1.890 76
7. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT01 1:45.106 + 2.427 72

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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.
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