GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi was quickest on the final day of 'Young Drivers' testing at Abu Dhabi

GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi has topped the timesheets as the final day of ‘Young Drivers’ testing drew to a close at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. Velsecchi piloted the Lotus E20 which won last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel.

The Italian’s time – posted after 86 laps of running during the session – was just two-thousandths of a second quicker than the fastest lap-time managed by Red Bull protégé António Félix da Costa the day before.

Magnussen climbs the kerbs en route to the second-fastest timeKevin Magnussen finished second-fastest in his second half-day outing for McLaren, finishing 0.150 seconds slower than Valsecchi after 51 laps’ running in the afternoon.

The Dane – who is the son of former McLaren and Stewart F1 racer Jan Magnussen – will leave Abu Dhabi with the fastest overall test time, which he clocked on the opening day of the test session.

McLaren’s morning work was performed by official test driver Oliver Turvey. The Englishman wound up fifth-quickest on the timesheets, with his best lap time some 0.5 seconds slower than his fastest lap posted on Wednesday.

Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez finished third-fastest overall in his second day’s running with the Swiss team. The Mexican finished four-tenths of a second slower than Valsecchi, and three-tenths quicker than his fastest lap time from the day before.

Red Bull ran newly-crowned WSR 3.5 champion Robin Frijns on its final day of testing in 2012. After driving for Sauber on the opening day, the Dutch driver piloted the RB8 to the fourth-fastest time of the day. As a comparison, he was half a second quicker than the time he managed with Sauber on Tuesday.

Luiz Razia battled a fever, but still went quicker in the Toro RossoBrazil’s Luiz Razia had a second day behind the wheel for Toro Rosso and finished sixth-fastest of the day’s seven runners.

The GP2 veteran struggled with fever symptoms during the day – hardly ideal in Abu Dhabi’s arid climate – but still managed to complete a full program, and went six-tenths quicker than the best lap-time he managed on Tuesday.

American driver Alexander Rossi had his second outing in the Caterham CT01 – his first since he ran at Friday practice at the Spanish Grand Prix in May – and finished the day slowest of all, and over a second slower than the best time managed by Giedo van der Garde over his two days’ running beforehand.

Rossi’s program was brought to a premature close, however, when mechanics discovered an oil leak in his car.

2012 Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ Test Session – Day 3 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi ITA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:42.667   86
2. Kevin Magnussen DEN McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:42.827 + 0.150 51
3. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:43.093 + 0.416 80
4. Robin Frijns NED Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:43.223 + 0.556 53
5. Oliver Turvey GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:43.604 + 0.927 44
6. Luiz Razia BRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:45.286 + 2.609 68
7. Alexander Rossi USA Caterham Renault CT01 1:46.485 + 3.808 86

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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.