Young Driver Test – Day 3, Abu Dhabi, 15-17 November
Thursday 17 November 2011
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
Marussia Virgin Racing’s extended stay in Abu Dhabi came to an end this afternoon as the team concluded the third and final day of its Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit.
After a slightly compromised day yesterday, 21 year old Frenchman Charles Pic was back in the car this morning to complete the planned longer run tyre programme and at the same time the team continued to run through a sequence of tests with development components for next year’s car. Charles ended the morning having completed a solid 49 laps of running and in 10th position with a best lap time of 1:46.348.
This afternoon, Robert Wickens was back in the car following his Free Practice 1 outing in last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In the intervening period he also spent a day (Tuesday) testing with Renault as his prize for winning the World Series by Renault FR 3.5 Championship. He continued the work with the Pirelli P-Zero development compounds and completed 34 laps, ending the day 13th with a best time of 1:45.934.
“Going into the afternoon session I knew I was going to have limited time, plus it took a little while to get the car to my liking. I then got straight into testing the Pirelli prototype tyres and I was quite surprised by how different they are. It was a busy afternoon – I didn’t get out of the car at all – but I’m pleased with my progress and my lap. I have to look at the fine detail with the engineers to fully evaluate my performance but overall I’m happy with our work today and thanks to the team for offering me these two great opportunities here in Abu Dhabi. It’s been quite a week.”
“Today I was back in the car for the morning, so it was another good chance to really familiarise myself with the procedures and become more natural in the car. We made two runs on new tyres, so it was good experience, and after we made one long run of 18 laps together with a start simulation, so again a lot of things to learn and I have taken in a lot of information. We also did a lot of controls work such as bite point learns, which were interesting and I enjoyed the pitstop practice also. My thanks to the team once again because it has been a very positive experience here this week and I have enjoyed it very much.”
John Booth, Team Principal of Marussia Virgin Racing
“It’s been a fascinating week here in Abu Dhabi, observing not only the young drivers Marussia Virgin Racing have been putting through their paces but also the next generation of drivers testing up and down the pit lane. Adrian, Charles and Robert have all acquitted themselves impressively and it has been a delight to work with each of them. Our objectives for here were two-fold – to evaluate the young drivers and at the same time work on some important developments for 2012, the most significant of which has been the Pirelli prototype tyres. The data we have collected this week has been invaluable and will be fed straight back into the 2012 design process. It has been a challenging few weeks for the team, both here and back in the UK, and in particular I would like to thank the race team for their hard work in last weekend’s Grand Prix and at this week’s test. We’re all looking forward to rounding off the season in Sao Paulo and eagerly await the start of testing with next year’s car.”