• Young Driver Test - Day 2

Who said what after day two of the Young Driver Test

ESPNF1 Staff
November 15, 2011

Read what the drivers and teams had to say after day two of the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi

Jules Bianchi got closer to Jean-Eric Vergne's fastest time on Wednesday © Sutton Images


Jules Bianchi - 2nd "It was another good day of testing. I was able to do a lot of kilometres and so we were able to complete all the planned programme, while I was also able to improve on my lap time from yesterday. It's valuable work for the team, because we have accumulated a lot of data which will be important for the development of the 2012 car."

Force India

Johnny Cecotto Jr - 5th "Amazing is the only word to describe today. Everything was just incredible from the moment I left the pits to begin my first lap. These cars are so impressive: the power, the braking performance and the aerodynamic grip you get through the corners - it makes you say 'wow'. And there are so many systems on the car, too, such as the KERS, which really impressed me. It was good to try out some of the 2012 tyres in the afternoon and the team seemed happy with the data and my feedback. Overall it was just an unbelievable experience to work at such a professional level, with a great crew, and I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me such a wonderful opportunity."

Oliver Knighton, race support and strategy engineer "Today saw a continuation of the programme that we started yesterday with Max. We began with some familiarisation runs for Johnny to get him comfortable in the car and he quickly got a good grasp of the control systems on the car, and was switching modes without being prompted. The technical programme focussed on more data collection for the 2012 Pirelli tyres and we also did some aero sweeps in the afternoon. Overall it was a good day's work: Johnny has settled in well with the team and gave excellent feedback."


Jan Charouz - 11th "It was really nice driving for HRT today. It was great that we had a lot of tyres to test, which is something that I need a lot because my biggest problem is getting the time out on new tyres. I liked working with the team as they were very professional; we had an engine problem in the afternoon and I've never seen anybody change an engine so quickly! I encountered some traffic on my last run on supersofts and I was only able to do one lap. It was a great experience and it would be great to drive again. I was feeling more comfortable lap by lap as I was getting to know the car better and how different controls worked. It was also my first chance to use DRS which was really nice to experience, there are so many things you have to do at the same time and it was good to start to get used to it".

Nathanael Berthon - 13th "I wasn't able to run for much but it was incredible to get out on the track with an F1 car. It's important to do laps to adapt to the driving posture so that I can start tomorrow's test comfortably and get the most out of it".

Arnau Niubó, race engineer "Today we had planned to test two drivers and that meant that more preparation work was needed as well as a more complex work plan. Both the team and the driver did a good job. We started with Charouz in the morning and the target was for him to adapt to the car and tyres. He progressed as the day went on and set some good times. It was a shame that he wasn't able to improve even more towards the end as he encountered some traffic on his last lap on supersoft tyres. We had to change the engine at midday as a precautionary measure. Although this delayed us a bit, I think that we can be satisfied with Jan's performance as well as being content for having changed the engine so quickly and getting Nathanael in the car so that he could do some laps and get to know the car ahead of tomorrow's test".


Luiz Razia - 9th "This morning we did a lot of damper work for the team looking ahead to the 2012 season, with many adjustments and evaluation of each run. We also did a performance run, which was very good as I was able to pick up speed quickly on the first flying lap. Most of the afternoon was dedicated to the 2012 Pirelli tyre programme, and we did some evaluation on that, looking at how the tyres behaved. We also did some performance runs this afternoon with a baseline setup, but unfortunately the red flag meant that I couldn't complete the best lap possible. The car balance felt good and I improved on my times so I'm quite happy. What I wanted to achieve was to do as many laps as possible so I was happy with 89 laps in total. The last time I drove the T128 was in Barcelona; the car has improved a lot since then and I feel Pirelli have done a great job with the tyres. I feel that the car is easier to drive and I felt more confident to push and get the most out of it that I could. 89 laps under the belt shows how much you can learn in just a day. Perhaps that's why the rookies struggle a little in F1 initially. There was so much to learn today, and an awful lot to think about! It's about trying to give good feedback and also think about what's happening, and also get the best out the car, which of course you're not used to. So it's so important for us to have this test, and this opportunity doesn't come along very often, so I'm extremely grateful and happy to get the time in the car."

Jody Egginton, chief race engineer "As with all the drivers throughout the test, we spent most of the morning getting Luiz used to the car and up to speed with the Pirelli tyres. We also spent the morning running some damper work, looking at the correlation with our ride and handling models back at the factory, and also looking ahead to next year. The programme this morning was successful and we received some good feedback from that session. This afternoon we completed the second part of the Pirelli tyre test as part of the 2012 programme, running their three prototypes over short runs. Again, we received good feedback which we'll take back to the factory and work on analysing with that data, looking ahead to next season. At end of day did we did a performance run on the supersoft tyres, but unfortunately a red flag meant we lost the quickest lap of that programme. We sent Luiz out again to give him a few more laps, however the tyres were past their peak so we could not extract the times we wanted. But all in all it has been a good day and Luiz has performed very well and given valuable feedback without putting a foot wrong. A good day all round."


Sam Bird - 7th "We made some very good progress with the programme today and were able to achieve all of the goals that we intended. It was interesting to try out the new 2012 Pirelli tyres for the first time, and I enjoyed the experience. Overall it was a very good day for us and I'm looking forward to completing our programme of test items tomorrow."

Red Bull

Ian Morgan, head of race engineering "We had quite a disjointed morning due to some sensor issues which interrupted our run programme and this afternoon we lost more track time with a KERS issue. The issues are resolved now and at least we were able to complete some laps which provided useful data, hopefully tomorrow will be more productive."


Kevin Korjus - 8th "It was very much a learning day for me - my first chance to drive the R31. The main priority was to give me a little bit of assessment; I gradually built up my confidence, and then by lunchtime I was feeling pretty comfortable with things. I was looking forward to doing some hard laps, but I must say it was really hard especially for my neck, physically and to learn all the buttons, and to do everything at the correct time. It is very different from the World Series. Now I feel I need a bit of rest. Otherwise I really enjoyed the day because the car was just unbelievably good. It's much quicker everywhere and I was particularly impressed by the brakes. I was definitely getting more and more comfortable because the brain starts to remember all the buttons. I learned there is still a lot to improve to be a really good driver in F1, and also I need to work a lot on my fitness but I'm very thankful for the opportunity Lotus Renault GP has given me today. "


Esteban Gutiérrez - 6th "It was a great day for me to learn about the different tyres. It is quite challenging to adapt from one to another, and you have to be sensible enough not to push too hard when you have less grip. It was a very good experience for me and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm happy with how the team is welcoming me back in the car. It is good to drive again to continue developing myself to get prepared for the future."

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, head of track engineering "Today the focus was on tyre testing. Esteban compared and evaluated the 2011 version of Pirelli's soft compound tyre with a new soft tyre which has been made for 2012. It is also different in design. We have covered a very good mileage today, despite the fact we had to stop for 20 minutes early in the afternoon due to a loss of hydraulic pressure. Although Esteban is very young and drove the C30 for the first time on a proper race track and also had to deal with the DRS and KERS, he gave us very mature and useful feedback. We have done everything that was on today's programme, and are looking forward to another productive day with Esteban tomorrow."

Toro Rosso

Kevin Ceccon - 10th "This was an incredible experience for me, driving a Formula 1 car and working with this team and first, I must say thank you to Scuderia Toro Rosso for giving me this fantastic opportunity. We got through a lot of work today, testing parts for the car as well as next season's Pirelli tyres, running them in comparison to this year's. I drove two long runs, from which I was able to understand a lot. In fact, I felt that in one day of testing with an F1 car, I learned more than in several days in other categories of car! Therefore today was very good as a learning experience for me and I am looking forward to making more progress tomorrow from a personal point of view and also in terms of helping the team for next season."

Laurent Mekies, chief engineer In the morning, we resumed our evaluation of various aero components and in the afternoon the work centred on tyre testing. However, while yesterday, Coletti's programme was based on a series of short runs, today, Ceccon was able to get a taste of what driving a Grand Prix might be like, as he did a race simulation in what was the hottest part of the day! Even though we asked a lot of him with a complex programme, he delivered a faultless performance. From a team point of view, it was another positive day, as we ran trouble free throughout and our programme is therefore going to plan. Tomorrow, we hope to bring it to a successful conclusion, running Coletti in the morning and Ceccon in the afternoon."


Charles Pic - 12th "This morning I was still getting used to the car and working to optimise my driving. We made two longer brake evaluation runs and this afternoon we did a test of new Pirelli tyres, but this time only for a few laps. We used four different specifications of tyre and it was very interesting to see the difference and get this information. By this afternoon I was happy with the car and all the new things like using DRS through the lap I just kept getting better and better at. I am very happy with my second day in the car and once again I have learned a lot. Thanks to the team again for making everything comfortable for me."

John Booth, team principal "We were slightly delayed leaving the garage this morning, having waited for new front suspension and brake components to arrive overnight from the factory. All in all, the team did a good job to minimise the amount of time Charles lost on the track this morning as a result. The morning progressed reasonably well, with Charles working through 2012 brake cooling options, but just before lunchtime we found an issue with the engine which had to be changed for this afternoon's running. Later on we worked through the first part of the 2012 Pirelli tyre programme and due to the fact that we were unable to complete this, we will continue the long run work in the morning with Charles before giving the afternoon to Robert. Unlike those around us we elected to only run the Soft tyre compound today, so we will get our chance with the Supersoft tomorrow. With the work that Charles was able to complete, he has done a good job and worked well with the team."


Valtteri Bottas - 4th "It was really good to work with the team again today and I feel we achieved what we wanted to. Physically is was as demanding as the first day with the heat and different levels of G-forces; it was hard work but in the end wasn't a problem. It has been a great opportunity for me here and I have really enjoyed every moment."

Tom McCullough, race engineer "We had a busy tyre test programme for Pirelli today. We started the performance tests and also completed some longer runs. We had a small electrical issue in the middle of the day which lost us a little track time unfortunately, but we have lots of interesting data to go through which will help us with the development of next year's car. Working with the engineers trackside, Valtteri has done a very professional job for us again, driving consistently all day. He got the most out of the car we gave him and gave us some really useful feedback on the Pirelli tyres. It's been a solid job by him the last two days."