Daniel Ricciardo managed to be both first and third fastest on the second day of the Silverstone test after swapping from Toro Rosso to Red Bull over the lunch break.
Ricciardo was one of four race drivers in action Thursday, with Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Paul Di Resta also appearing for half a day apiece with their respective teams.
The Aussie set his quicker time in his regular car before making his pitch for a 2014 seat with the RB9. An early trip into the gravel didn’t do him any favors and he was ultimately a little over two-tenths slower in the afternoon session.
Ricciardo’s two efforts were split by GP3 racer Carlo Sainz Jr., who did a good job to top the afternoon session and go second overall with the Toro Rosso on his first F1 outing
“When I got out of the car at the end, I went around to every mechanic and said, ‘Thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life,’” said the Spaniard. “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 F1 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 kilometers per hour.
Davide Valsecchi took over the Lotus and was fourth fastest, while Oliver Turvey was fifth after taking over the McLaren.
“It was a really busy day, given we tested lots of things on the car,” said Turvey. “Hopefully, it will help us to improve our understanding. Mid-seasons test are very important, which is why I hardly got out the car all day. I loved the experience. There are limited opportunities to drive a Formula One car these days, so to do nearly 100 laps was great.”
Other new faces Thursday were British Renault 3.5 driver Will Stevens at Caterham, and Rodolfo Gonzalez at Marussia.
Meanwhile, the race drivers focused on tire running, and Maldonado had some interesting comments: “The tires feel quite different but we need to see how we compare against other cars on the track with the same compounds. We didn’t get performance from the car with them, so we need more time in Hungary as we couldn’t make any setup changes today. It was good to be back in the car, though, in preparation for getting back to racing next week.”
On Friday, Susie Wolff will be the focus of attention as she drives for Williams, while Sainz Jr. will switch from STR to Red Bull, and Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne are among the race drivers scheduled to appear.
Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m32.972s 48
2. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1m33.016s 39
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m33.187s 59
4. Davide Valsecchi Lotus 1m33.554s 91
5. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1m33.864s 97
6. James Calado Force India 1m33.957s 47
7. Antonio Felix da Costa Red Bull 1m33.958s 19
8. Davide Rigon Ferrari 1m34.053s 97
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m34.116s 71
10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m34.224s 52
11. Daniel Juncadella Williams 1m34.631s 33
12. Robin Frijns Sauber 1m34.731s 17
13. Will Stevens Caterham 1m36.082s 98
14. Paul di Resta Force India 1m36.356s 41
15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia 1m37.949s 92