It was the first day of the Young Drivers Formula 1 test in Abu Dhabi today, and Pastor Maldonado was the first one to drive the HRT F110. This was only the second time the 25 year old was driving an F1 car after having tested with Minardi F1 in Misano 2004, and he demonstrated straight away that he is fast and can drive at constant pace. The Venezuelan was one of the first to be out on track this morning and he spent the day fulfilling his program. In the morning, Pastor Maldonado drove 327.686 km (59 laps), clocking a best time of 1.46.278. In the afternoon, the current GP2 Series Champion was able to keep on improving his times as he got more used to the car and the track conditions kept on improving. He stopped the clock on 1.43.750 and was the driver who covered the most laps at the wheel of the car today, doing 108 in total (599.832 km). Tomorrow it will be the turn for both GP2 drivers Josef Král and Davide Valsecchi to jump in the Hispania Racing F1 car for the first time, and Pastor Maldonado will be back driving for the Spanish team on Friday and Saturday at the Pirelli Test.
Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
“We are very happy to have Pastor Maldonado in our car at the Young Drivers Test and the Pirelli Test. He did a great job and he was the driver who completed the most laps today. The track conditions were very good and Pastor got used to the car quickly. The Venezuelan was very competitive compared to the other new teams’ drivers and the rest of them. We fulfilled our program as planned and did 108 laps. We could also carry on improving like during the last races and we are excited to see how much further up we can go.”
“It was a great feeling to be back in a Formula 1 car today and to complete 108 laps with the HRT F110. I got more confident with this car during the day and I could improve the lap times constantly when the track conditions improved. We were quite quick today and I pushed a lot to show a good performance. I am very happy to get the opportunity to do the Young Drivers Test and Pirelli Test with Hispania Racing. Now I cannot wait to be back in the car on Friday again.”