|© Andrew Hone/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Red Bull was quickest on day two of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday encouraging the defending champions’ bid to claim its third straight title this season.
Antonio Felix da Costa, a part of the Red Bull junior team, clocked a time of 1 minute 42.679 seconds around the Yas Marina circuit, nearly half a second quicker than his nearest rival.
With the drivers’ championship separated by just ten points, Red Bull would get an edge with this final young driver test of the season in which only six teams are participating. Chief rivals Ferrari and the rest took part in the tests conducted earlier in the year.
“It’s been another good day. Again, we did a lot of mileage, which is good for me and for the team,” said Felix da Costa, who worked on aero mapping, tyres and some car components.
“On a day like this, when the conditions are perfect for testing, and with two Grands Prix to go, I think the team needs to make the most of it and today I think we did that,” pointed out the Portuguese driver.
Ferrari’s absence could also play into the hands of McLaren, both of whom are fighting for second place in the constructors’ championship.
The British team completed 100 laps in all with development driver Oliver Turvey, who ran in the afternoon, second in the timesheets and Gary Paffett, who drove earlier in the day, in fifth place.
“The team was putting more miles on a number of aerodynamic developments, including a new front wing, and evaluating revised suspension geometry, with an eye towards monitoring resultant tyrewear, degradation and heating,” McLaren said in a statement.
DTM driver Edoardo Mortara got behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time with Lotus completing further aerodynamic work including running two iterations of the DDRS.
“It was pretty tough; I’ve come from a car which is a lot slower and the first laps were certainly an eye opener,” said Mortara with the team adding that car could have gone quicker than third.
Sauber ran its test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez completing a mammoth 93 laps with the Mexican fourth fastest ahead of Toro Rosso’s Johnny Cecotto Jr and Giedo van der Garde of Caterham.
||Antonio Felix da Costa
||Johnny Cecotto Jr
||Giedo van der Garde