• Young Driver Test - Day 1

Vergne comfortably quickest at Young Driver Test

ESPNF1 Staff
November 15, 2011 « Williams testing 2012 exhausts | Young Driver Test line-up »
Jean-Eric Vergne is running for Red Bull on all three days of the test © Sutton Images

Jean-Eric Vergne set the quickest time of the first morning of the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.

Vergne, driving for Red Bull, set a time of 1:40.707 to lead Jules Bianchi's Ferrari by almost two seconds. Bianchi was running a number of aerodynamic tests for Ferrari, sporting a large sensor on the side of the car before setting his time on his one proper run. Oliver Turvey was third quickest for McLaren with a time of 1:43.502, 0.3s ahead of Valtteri Bottas who was running the 2012-specification top-exiting exhaust layout in the Williams. Bottas was also the busiest driver completing a total of 47 laps in the morning session.

Fabio Leimer (Sauber) was fifth fastest with a 1:44.354, 0.2s quicker than Robert Wickens in the Renault with Rodolfo Gonzalez half a second further back for Lotus. Sam Bird, driving for Mercedes, only managed to complete 12 laps on his way to setting the eighth best time ahead of Max Chilton's 1:45.714 driving for Force India.

Dani Clos in the HRT F111 was tenth ahead of Stefano Coletti (Toro Rosso) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who spent the first part of the morning conducting constant speed tests for Virgin before handing over to Charles Pic for the afternoon session. Quaife-Hobbs described the experience as "huge".

"It's been a great experience and I've learned a lot," Quaife-Hobbs said. "This morning I began with some CSL (constant speed limiter) runs on the straights so the team could conduct some aero measurement work and then I got into the programme properly. I ran two sets of new tyres and just began chipping away as I learnt more about the car and how it reacts. Overall I'm pleased with the day; it's been a huge experience for me."