Home Formula 1 Silverstone young driver test – Driver and team quotes

Silverstone young driver test – Driver and team quotes

by Peter Allen

What selected drivers and their teams have had to say about their runs in this week’s young driver test at Silverstone.

Friday – Day 3

Carlos Sainz, Red Bull

?This has been an incredible opportunity. It was not an easy day and the nerves were definitely there. In the end though, it all went smoothly and there were no major issues. I enjoyed the work and tried to do my best in terms of giving feedback to the team. It?s a big boost for my self-confidence, but I?m 18-years-old, still very young and still learning. There?s a long way to go.?

Carlos Sainz

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso

?I want to thank Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso for giving me this opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time. It was a really nice feeling, with all that downforce and power. The more laps you do, the more you get used to it and on my last run, I was already trying to push and find the limits.

“Unfortunately, we lost some time when I made a mistake and ran into the gravel. I?m not sure what happened, I just felt a lack of grip at the rear from the tyres and had snap oversteer.?

Daniil Kvyat

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Kimiya Sato, Sauber

?I?m really amazed after driving a Formula One car for the first time. It?s so sharp and it reacts very quickly too, especially when steering and braking. It?s incredible. From a physical point of view, it?s also tough. I have raced in Silverstone before, so I do know the track well, but nothing compares to this. To drive here in a Formula One car feels completely different, and the speed is incredible. The morning was really good. In the afternoon I used a few new sets of tyres and tried to improve my lap times. Unfortunately, that didn?t work out the way I wanted it to. The track conditions changed, the wind picked up and the circuit was generally slower. Driving a Formula One car today was really good, and I had a lot of fun. But the next step is to really work on improving my lap times.?

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: ?It is always exciting being associated with a driver?s first day in a Formula One car, as it is a very special day for him. Kimiya?s mature approach to the day impressed us all, as he worked well with the Engineers, improving throughout the day.”

Thursday – Day 2

Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso

?First of all, I want to thank Red Bull and especially Toro Rosso for this opportunity. When I got out of the car at the end, I went round to every mechanic and said ?thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life!? Driving the car was an incredible feeling and this track helped, because if there is one circuit where you are really going to feel you are in a Formula 1 car, it?s Silverstone.

“As for my impressions of the car, everything about it was amazing, but if I had to pick on one aspect it would be the car?s agility and the way it can change direction at 300 km/h. That?s something I had never experienced before and it was the most impressive thing for me.

“Tomorrow, I will get the chance to drive the Infiniti Red Bull Racing car, but to start like this with Toro Rosso, which was not part of my plan for the year, makes this the best day and tomorrow, to sit in a world champion?s car thanks to Red Bull, who have supported me since I was fifteen, will I hope be just as good.?

Carlos Sainz

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

James Calado, Force India

?It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week. It?s another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn and so many names to remember! Yesterday was more about getting comfortable with the car and today I was able to do a bigger programme with some aero work. The team also gave me the chance to try some pit stop practice, which was good experience.

“As a British driver it has been amazing to drive a Formula One car at my home track ? it?s certainly a memory that will stay with me. The car is just phenomenal ? the high speed grip, the brakes and the g-forces. I?m really happy with how things have gone and I hope the work we?ve done will help the race drivers in Hungary.?

James Calado

Photo: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull

?To drive the car for half of the three days of testing has been a fantastic opportunity. It?s a good sign that the team believes I can carry such a heavy workload and get the job done. To be working with a world championship-winning team is the best learning experience you could have.?

Daniel Juncadella, Williams

“It was nice to be able to have another go in the car today. The conditions were different today with the wind changing direction so I struggled to get used to the balance of the car a bit. However, I think it was good for to have another opportunity in the car and I?ve really enjoyed the experience a lot.”

Xevi Pujolar, Chief Engineer: “We did another 30 laps with Dani this afternoon to complete our programme with him and give him the opportunity to learn more. We did some performance runs and a long run, and again he made no mistakes and coped well in the different conditions. We are really pleased with what we have seen from him over the last two days.”

Robin Frjins, Sauber

?This morning we did a lot of installation laps again. At around 12pm we finally did a performance run. After the first lap we changed the settings on the car. Following that I felt the car wasn?t as balanced as before, so I spun off and that ended my day with just one flying lap.?

Will Stevens, Caterham

“It’s been a really good day and I want to thank everyone who’s helped make my first run in an F1 car happen. For me the main focus of the day was learning as much as I could. It was obviously my first time driving the F1 car and even though I’d prepared for the test with simulator sessions and time back the factory, nothing really prepares you for the step up in performance compared to what I’ve been racing so far, and the whole track setup.

“However, to be honest, it didn’t take long to start feeling comfortable in the car. In the early runs we were mainly focusing on aero work, so it was all about working to the very precise plan the engineers set, and then, from mid-morning, we started looking at more normal test work – setup options, different bodywork, all the test items the team needed to work through for the races to come.

“We stopped for lunch after nearly 50 laps and I was feeling good, ready to get straight back in and carry on! The afternoon session was much the same – we tried a few different setups and then ended with more aero work. Overall it’s been a really good day, one where I think I did just what the team wanted and learned a lot. I’m off straight away to the next World Series round in Austria, but I can’t wait to get back into an F1 car.”

Will Stevens

Photo: Caterham F1 Team

Wednesday – Day 1

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren

“This is the first time I?d driven at Silverstone in a Formula 1 car, and it was a fantastic experience. We covered a lot of mileage ? almost two race distances ? and, given there isn?t a great deal of testing these days, that opportunity was invaluable.

“The process of providing feedback to the engineers about the car, and testing new set-ups can only make me a stronger driver. I have to thank Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for giving me this opportunity, and I?m going to apply everything I?ve learned today.

“Getting a taste in the car only makes me more hungry to one day realise my ambition of racing in the highest level of motorsport. Without a doubt I learnt a great deal today.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull

“It was nice to get the full day?s running, especially here. If there?s a circuit where you really feel that you?re in an F1 car it?s here at Silverstone, with all these fast corners. It something completely different and something you have to get used to but it was a great day, a great feeling.

?In terms of the work, it was a good day. Obviously, it?s not the first time for me in a Red Bull car, so everything is sort of familiar. It?s an important test for the team and my job is simply to drive consistently and not make mistakes. I think we achieved the goal of being consistent and working through the programme.?

Andy Damerum, Race Engineering Co-ordinator: “Antonio did a good job today. It?s not always easy for a driver, as there?s a lot to take and a lot of different demands being made of them. Antonio obviously drove for us at last year?s young driver test, but that was some time ago and getting back into an F1 car again isn?t always easy. But he did almost 350km before the lunch break and was feeling fine, which was good. In the morning we had him doing some specific things which didn?t provide him with the chance to set a quick lap, but after lunch when that opportunity did arise he was able to find a rhythm very quickly, which is not always easy to do and he set a decent time.”

Antonio Felix da Costa

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

James Calado, Force India

“Getting to drive a Formula One car was a lifetime ambition and even coming to the track this morning was quite emotional. It was a completely different experience from what I am used to in GP2 but it took only a few laps to get a hold of it.

“I was able to set some sensible lap times and to give quite accurate feedback on the tyres within ten laps, which was quicker than I expected. I am here to do the best job possible and hopefully we will learn a few things from my work that can help Paul and Adrian in the rest of the season.”

James Calado

Photo: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Daniel Juncadella, Williams

“From the first lap I could feel the speed of the car and it was a great experience today. I?m really happy with the chance the team gave me. In the end, we couldn?t complete our full programme but I think we had some good runs this afternoon. I was happy with the balance of the car and it was good to try the new tyres.

“Physically I feel good, it was just quite warm today but as I?m used to closed cars in DTM I can?t complain really. I get on well with the engineers and team and we worked well together. The team has given me all the support I needed which has been really nice so I?m looking forward to getting another chance tomorrow.”

Xevi Pujolar, Chief Engineer: “We are really pleased with Dani today. He adapted to the team and the car very quickly, and was straight up to speed with all the procedures.? In terms of consistency, Dani drove clean laps and made no mistakes so we?re really happy with him. We were doing some aero development work this morning running lots of sensors on the car but we had a few problems getting everything to work together which meant we didn?t complete all the runs we wanted to. We now plan to do some more laps with him tomorrow afternoon to complete the programme including some longer runs to see how he can adapt.”

Robin Frijns, Sauber

“It was quite a busy day. We started with some aero tests this morning and did a lot of installation laps. In the afternoon we lost a bit of track time, but the crew sorted the car quite quickly. I was continuously in the car from 2.30pm until the end of the session.

“It was my first time driving a Formula One car on a high-speed track, as the Yas Marina circuit is a bit slower. It?s fun at such high speed and I got used to it quite quickly. Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel are always a bit difficult, so I had to adapt to that, which went quite well at the end.

“I drove a lot of laps on the hard tyres, which felt comfortable. With the medium tyres I didn?t feel as comfortable yet, so that is something I still need to work on. At the end of the day we did a lot of mileage and tested a lot of things. Working with the team was good fun. The boys are quite fast.?

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Having driven with us before, Robin was quickly up to speed and did a solid job in the car, performing many additional data gathering tasks as well as providing valuable driver feedback.”

Robin Frijns

Photo: Sauber F1 Team

Alexander Rossi, Caterham

“It’s been a productive day and I think we’re all pleased we’ve completed such a good number of laps. Obviously for me today was another piece of the F1 jigsaw, adding more experience of the 2013 car on top of the Canadian GP FP1 session I did in June, but really my main priority was helping the team continue the push towards the cars ahead.

“After the installation lap we were straight into the program, running through a number of test items in both the morning and afternoon sessions that will help the team in the coming races.

“We didn’t have any reliability issues until late in the day when we had a hydraulics problem and that unfortunately meant I didn’t have a chance to put in a really quick lap, but we were still able to complete most of the day’s plan and that’s good, for the team and for me as it means we have both got pretty much everything we could from day one of the test.”

Alexander Rossi

Photo: Caterham F1 Team

Tio Ellinas, Marussia

“Without doubt, today has been the best moment of my life. It was a fantastic experience that I know I will remember forever. I feel very proud to be representing my country and to have so much support from the people back home in Cyprus. I have driven the car once before, at the team?s straight-line test at Kemble, but this was my first time out in a Formula 1 car at a proper circuit and so it felt like the first time all over again.

“There was a lot of familiarisation to do at the start of the day. I obviously have some experience of things like the very complex layout on the steering wheel; it?s still so much to take in though. I was also using KERS and DRS today for the first time and there is such a lot to think about over the course of a lap. I soon built up my confidence though and after a few single lap runs I was building up to longer runs and I was really able to start putting a lap together.

“I am happy with my performance today and the team seem pleased with me. I have received some great feedback and support from them so I can?t thank them enough for that. Everything has gone according to plan so I can?t ask for any more than that right now. Now I will try to refocus on the GP3 Championship and my ambitions for that this season.?

John Booth, Team Principal: “The whole team was pleased to see Tio in the car this morning as just reward for his very positive debut season in GP3 last year. He got off to a good start, conducting some aero measurements similar to those he ran through in Kemble and then he set about completing some timed laps. It is clearly a huge amount for the young drivers to take in, stepping up from GP3 to F1 and working with not only many more people but more complicated systems on the cars. However, Tio took all of this in his stride and achieved the objective of improving every run, running two good qualifying simulations on the soft tyres.”