• Abu Dhabi young driver test

Ricciardo ends final day on top

ESPNF1 Staff
November 17, 2010 « Yas Marina circuit flawed - Whitmarsh | »

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo remained on top of the timesheets on the final day of the Formula One young drivers' test at Abu Dhabi, his Red Bull setting a lap time a full 1.3 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel's pole time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"It was cool to do this test and great to get so close to the big boys times from the weekend! It's very rare to get a perfect car, but I have to say this is very close," said Ricciardo afterwards.

Driving Mark Webber's Hungarian Grand Prix winning machine, Ricciardo clocked a best time of 1:38.102s from his 77 laps to finish .700 ahead of Jerome d'Ambrosio's Renault and Sam Bird's Mercedes.

"It always takes some time to adapt to a new car, but I quickly felt comfortable in the R30 and we found a good balance early on," said d'Ambrosio.

Regular McLaren tester Gary Paffett, taking over duties from Oliver Turvey, was fourth fastest ahead of Jules Bianchi's Ferrari.

Sergio Perez, enjoying his first ever outing in a Formula One car, impressed with the sixth fastest time in his Sauber. Already confirmed as Kamui Kobayashi's team-mate for 2011, he finished ahead of Paul di Resta's Force India and reigning GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado, who switched from HRT to Williams for Wednesday's test.

"I think in the course of the day I got closer to the limit," said Perez. "I was very happy with the way we worked. Today I tested different parts of the car and in general I really learned a lot about all the procedures, which are quite different to what I'm used to from GP2."

Jean-Eric Vergne was ninth fastest in his Toro Rosso ahead of Yelmer Buurman, who brought out the red flags with 20 minutes remaining due to a mechanical problem.

Having won the final GP2 race of the season at the same circuit, Davide Valsecchi finished 11th quickest on his debut for HRT, two seconds faster than Bruno Senna's qualifying effort despite suffering a late spin trying to improve on his time. Fellow debutants Luiz Razia and Josef Kral were 12th and 13th with Rodolfo Gonzalez and Vladimir Arabadzhiev rounding off the lap times.

Pos. Driver Car Best Time Laps
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.102 77
2 Jerome D'Ambrosio Renault 1:38.802 83
3 Sam Bird Mercedes 1:39.220 82
4 Gary Paffett McLaren 1:39:760 84
5 Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:39.916 93
6 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:40.543 91
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:40.901 27
8 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:40.944 81
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:40.974 61
10 Yelmer Buurman Force India 1:41.178 67
11 Davide Valsecchi HRT 1:43.013 32
12 Luiz Razia Virgin 1:43.525 70
13 Josef Kral HRT 1:44.143 61
14 Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1:44.312 41
15 Vladimir Arabadzhiev Lotus 1:45.723 49