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