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2011 Young Driver Test – Day 3: Perfect three for Vergne

by Peter Allen

Photo: Red Bull Racing

The Young Driver Test concluded today, with Jean-Eric Vergne completing his domination of the week’s timesheets for Red Bull…

Vergne’s time of 1:38.917 was nearly two seconds clear of anyone else. Someone other than Ferrari’s Jules Bianchi was closest to Vergne for the first time this week, with Sam Bird second fastest for Mercedes.

Oliver Turvey was fourth behind Bianchi in his McLaren, just pipping fellow Brit Max Chilton of Force India. Esteban Gutierrez was next up on his second day in the Sauber, which ended on a low note when he spun on his final run and brought out the red flags.

Mirko Bortolotti was seventh fastest on his one and only day in the Williams FW33 as a prize for winning this year’s FIA Formula Two title. Kevin Ceccon was eighth after returning to the cockpit of the Toro Rosso in the afternoon. Stefano Coletti had his turn during the morning, with his best time being good enough for 11th at the end of the day.

Alexander Rossi enjoyed his first test with Lotus, and was ninth quickest, quicker than Jan Charouz who had switched to Renault from HRT for today.

Nathanael Berthon had his first full day in the HRT after getting a short run on Wednesday, and wound up 12th. This was quicker than the Virgin pairing of Robert Wickens and Charles Pic. Wickens had to wait until the afternoon to get back behind the wheel of the car that he previously drove last Friday as Pic was given extra time following a series of interruptions to his running on Wednesday.

Unofficial times:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne, Red Bull, 1:38.917, 46 laps
2. Sam Bird, Mercedes, 1:40.897, 104
3. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:41.347, 106
4. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:41.513, 89
5. Max Chilton, Force India, 1:41.575, 79
6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:42.049, 79
7. Mirko Bortolotti, Williams, 1:43.277, 74
8. Kevin Ceccon, Toro Rosso, 1:43.686, 35
9. Alexander Rossi, Lotus, 1:44.283, 74
10. Jan Charouz, Renault, 1:44.470, 82
11. Stefano Coletti, Toro Rosso, 1:44.545, 48
12. Nathanael Berthon, HRT, 1:45.839, 51
13. Robert Wickens, Virgin, 1:45.934, 34
14. Charles Pic, Virgin, 1:46.348, 49