- Young Driver Test - Day 3
Vettel sets quickest time of the week on final day
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the Silverstone Young Driver Test, clocking a 1:32.894 after rocking up to the Northamptonshire circuit on the final afternoon.
Like all race drivers this week, Vettel had to complete a run plan dictated by Pirelli so his time was not really comparable to either of Daniel Ricciardo's times set in the Red Bull or Toro Rosso on Thursday. For the record, however, he was 0.078s faster than Ricciardo's Toro Rosso time, which was the second fastest of the week and quicker than the time he managed in the Red Bull.
Adrian Sutil was second fastest on Friday with a best time of 1:33.242. He completed a mammoth 99 laps in the Force India as he got the best part of a day of testing to himself to try to understand the new tyres as much as possible ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, he too would have been limited to set-up changes dictated by Pirelli and there will still be work for all the teams and drivers to do when they arrive at the Hungaroring next week. James Calado took over the Force India for the final ten minutes of the session, completing just 5 laps before the chequered flag.
Nicolas Prost was third fastest after a second day in the Lotus. Kimi Raikkonen has originally been scheduled to drive the Lotus but the team changed its plans when it discovered the extent of the limitations imposed on race drivers this week. Prost, the son of four-time champion Alain, set a 1:33.256 on his best lap, which was an improvement of over 1.5s faster than his best time on Wednesday.
Carlos Sainz Jr was fourth fastest after another impressive outing at Silverstone, this time with Red Bull. He was second fastest on Thursday in the Toro Rosso and about 0.5s off that in the Red Bull on Friday. That might sound surprising but it goes to show how big a difference the programme makes to the lap times and, ultimately, how little this week's lap times mean. However, he clearly enjoyed himself, saying getting a chance to test with the world champions "was like winning the lottery".
Davide Rigon returned to the cockpit of the Ferrari on Friday afternoon after Felipe Massa spent the morning in the F138. Massa's run was extended a little bit in the afternoon and he completed 69 laps with the sixth best time, 0.032s behind Rigon's best after 13 laps.
Jean-Eric Vergne completed 42 laps in the Toro Rosso and also had his run extended a little bit into the afternoon after a problem in the morning. Russian driver Daniil Kvyat took over in the afternoon but only completed a handful of laps before finding the gravel and causing a red flag. He wasn't alone, however, as Giedo van der Garde put his Caterham in the gravel in the morning and Rodolfo Gonzalez had a spin in the Marussia that also brought out the red flags.
Susie Wolff attracted a lot of attention in the Williams and after a solid day with 89 laps at the wheel she finished up ninth fastest. Her best time was a 1:35.093 set on medium tyres midway through the day. It was her first proper F1 test in a contemporary car after completing straight-line testing and a filming day in an old car since joining the team as a development driver. She had one moment when she cut across the grass at Becketts, but held it all together and there were no mishaps during the day.
Sauber ran Kimiya Sato throughout the day, seeing him clock up a total of 67 laps and the 13th fastest time with a 1:35.642.
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:32.894, 79 laps
2. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:33.242, 99 laps
3. Nicolas Prost, Lotus, 1:33.256, 83 laps
4. Carlos Sainz Jr, Red Bull, 1:33.546, 35 laps
5. Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1:33.592, 20 laps
6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:33.624, 69 laps
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:33.647, 42 laps
8. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:34.924, 77 laps
9. Susie Wolff, Williams, 1:35.093, 89 laps
10. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1:35.155, 65 laps
11. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:35.281, 22 laps
12. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:35.576, 60 laps
13. Kimiya Sato, Sauber, 1:35.642, 67 laps
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Marussia, 1:36.339, 24 laps
15. James Calado, Force India, 1:36.451, 5 laps
16. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1:36.744, 39 laps