Young Drivers Test: Day 2

Day 2 of the YDT at Silverstone centered around Daniel Ricciardo, who completed a full days running driving for Toro Rosso in the morning and making his Red Bull debut in the afternoon. His personal best time set in the morning was good enough for the fastest time of the day, while the afternoon failed to progress quite as smoothly as he would have hoped. The Aussie suffered an auspicious start to his stint on lap 7, when he made an unexpected excursion to the gravel trap at Luffield. Over-exuberance perhaps, yet Ricciardo recovered to complete 59 laps in total throughout the afternoon.

On the day when Christian Horner declared that the battle for Webber’s lucrative seat is between Ricciardo and Raikkonen, the former realised that today was his all important ‘audition’. Despite his untimely mistake, he performed well overall. While he was unable to eclipse his personal best effort set in the morning, it has to be noted that his running in the RB9 was significantly affected by Pirelli, who dictated set-ups, tyre usage and the general run plan throughout the afternoon. Consequently, Ricciardo will be contented by the fact that he came within 0.171 of his chart topping time in the Red Bull. Undoubtedly, data will be analysed to see how consistent his times were and to what degree he managed to complete the schedule. While mistakes are well-nigh forbidden at Red Bull, his early blunder should not have dashed his chances of the 2014 seat.
The mere fact that Red Bull offered him the opportunity to drive the car has somewhat quelled the rumors that Kimi Raikkonen has already made an informal agreement to join the team. The Iceman may remain favorite to partner Sebastian, yet Ricciardo has not diminished his chances by any means, on today’s performance. The experience he has obtained will be priceless, regardless of where his future lies.
Following Daniel’s morning in his accustomed surroundings at Toro Rosso, young talent Carlos Sainz Jr took over in the afternoon and recorded competitive times. His performance was undoubtedly abetted by the freedom which Toro Rosso had in the afternoon running which was unaffected by Pirelli, (Ricciardo’s run consisted of minor interruptions by the tyre manufacturer). Regardless, his personal best effort placed him P2 on the timesheet and the effortless consistency of his lap times will fill the young protagonist with confidence.
Further down the order, Davide Valsecchi completed his second day of testing this season, following an earlier run at Barcelona during pre-season, replacing an ill Kimi Raikkonen. The reigning GP2 champion was looking to impress with the prospect of a Lotus seat or two becoming available next season. He clocked up an impressive 91 laps, completing a day free of dramas. The Enstone team can also receive the comedy award for their subtle decal poking fun at Mercedes’ absence from the test, reading “#WhereIsRoscoe”. Lewis Hamilton will not be impressed!
Robin Frijns’ final stint in the car did not proceed as smoothly as he would have hoped, as he excecuted a similar misjudgment to Daniel Ricciardo at Luffield. His beached Sauber brought out the first of three red flag stoppages, and concluded his session prematurely after a mere 17 laps. Sauber’s day improved in the afternoon, with Nico Hulkenberg recovering some of the lost time, as he completed an excellent 52 laps. Meanwhile, Davide Rigon’s second day in the F138 was a very productive one, as he posted 97 laps which consisted of several aero examinations in the afternoon as Ferrari look to discover their current deficiencies. Their time management in the afternoon was commendable following a linear morning under the restrictions of Pirelli.
Elsewhere, Will Stevens received his first day of Formula One action following Alexander Rossi’s productive day yesterday. The team have admitted to using this test to examine 2014 parts and Stevens contributed well to the development, recording 98 trouble free laps and gaining vital experience. Rivals Marussia will also be pleased with their efforts, as Rodolfo Gonzalez completed a full day behind the wheel.

Day Two Timesheet          
1. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:32.972, 48 laps
2 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:33.016, 39 laps
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:33.187, 59 laps
4 Davide Valsecchi Lotus 1:33.554, 91 laps
5 Oliver Turvey McLaren 1:33.864, 97 laps
6 James Calado Force India 1:33.957, 47 laps
7 Antonio Felix da Costa Red Bull 1:33.958, 19 laps
8 Davide Rigon Ferrari, 1:34.053, 97 laps
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:34.116, 71 laps
10 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:34.224, 52 laps
11 Daniel Juncadella Williams 1:34.631, 33 laps
12 Robin Frijns Sauber 1:34.731, 17 laps
13 Will Stevens Caterham 1:36.082, 98 laps
14 Paul di Resta Force India 1:36.356, 41 laps
15 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia 1:37.949, 92 laps

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