Photo: Red Bull
Jean-Eric Vergne remained on top of the timesheets on the second day of the Young Driver Test, despite his Red Bull twice encountering technical problems…
The Frenchman lost running in the morning due to sensor issues, and yet more time was lost in the afternoon to a KERS problem. As a result he couldn’t match his benchmark from Tuesday, but it was enough to remain in P1.
Compatriot Jules Bianchi was again the nearest man to Vergne, this time just 0.091s adrift in his Ferrari. Gary Paffett enjoyed a full day in the McLaren and ended up third quickest, one and half seconds away from Vergne.
Valtteri Bottas was a strong fourth in his second and last day in the Williams. He has now flown off to Macau to take part in practice for the F3 race there on Thursday. Mirko Bortolotti will take over the reigns of the FW33.
Johnny Cecotto Jr made an impressive F1 debut for Force India in fifth. The Venzuelan will hand back over to fellow GP2 racer Max Chilton tomorrow.
Esteban Gutierrez was sixth for Sauber on his first day in the C30, narrowly ahead of both Mercedes’ Sam Bird and Renault’s Kevin Korjus. 18-year-old Estonian Korjus expressed his disappointment with his quickest laptime on his first taste of F1 machinery.
Luiz Razia was ninth fastest for Lotus, only a couple of tenths behind Korjus and full second ahead of the Toro Rosso of debutant Kevin Ceccon. Like Stefano Coletti yesterday, the Auto GP champion no doubt focussed on familiarising himself with the car, and also did a race simulation. Both drivers will get another chance in the STR6 tomorrow.
Jan Charouz appeared at HRT, and ran for most of the day ahead of his drive for Renault tomorrow. He handed over to Nathanael Berthon at the very end of the day – the Frenchman using nine laps to get himself comfortable ahead of a full day in the car tomorrow.
Charles Pic had a torrid day in the Virgin. His start to the day was delayed by a late arrival of parts from the factory, and he lost further running later due to the changing of an engine component. The team have consequently given him an extra morning’s running in the car tomorrow, at the expense of Robert Wickens. This only helps to support the reports that Pic has already beaten Wickens to a race seat for 2012.
1. Jean-Eric Vergne, Red Bull, 1:40.188, 43 laps
2. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:40.279, 91
3. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:41.756, 71
4. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:42.367, 88
5. Johnny Cecotto Jr, Force India, 1:42.873, 84
6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:43.637, 96
7. Sam Bird, Mercedes, 1:43.734, 94
8. Kevin Korjus, Renault, 1:43.776, 70
9. Luiz Razia, Lotus, 1:43.944, 89
10. Kevin Ceccon, Toro Rosso, 1:44.808, 97
11. Jan Charouz, HRT, 1:46.644, 56
12. Charles Pic, Virgin, 1:46.698, 61
13. Nathanael Berthon, HRT, 1:48.646, 9