ABU DHABI TEST – DAY ONE
Driver: Carlos Sainz Jr
Best time: 1:45.339
Circuit length: 5.554km
Fastest Lap: V. Bottas (1:43.396)
Carlos Sainz Jr enjoyed a busy outing at the Yas Marina Circuit as the final test of 2014 got underway in Abu Dhabi. The 20-year-old was awarded a test day with Infiniti Red Bull Racing for winning this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 title and the series’ youngest ever winner impressed with 100 laps at the wheel of the RB10 and the day’s fifth quickest time.
“For me it was an incredible day, a day that I’ve been thinking about since I started the Formula Renault 3.5 season, knowing that this was the prize. So it was always in my mind and to finally make it happen was an incredible feeling,” said Carlos. ”It felt really good to be honest. Obviously I had a reference from the test at Silverstone last year in the RB9 and I could build up little by little, as it was a long day and I think I did 100 laps. From the first lap I felt comfortable and felt at home, so I was able to push. There were no problems at all even though it was an extensive programme. The morning was all about data gathering but in the afternoon I was able to push a bit more, so it was fun.”
Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum added: “A very busy day in which I think we got through a total of 26 outings. Some of those were obviously conditional on the red flags we saw today, but Carlos got through 100 laps, which is great for a rookie. He tested for us at Silverstone last year and since then he’s been in our simulator. His feedback is excellent and I think he has improved again over the past year. He’s obviously familiar with our car in the virtual world but it’s always a very different prospect on track and today he handled that really well. We had a lot of tyres to play with today and testing the 2015 prototype tyres was very valuable. As with everyone else, there were a number of 2015 test items on the car and a lot going on too in terms of updated software and background tests. I’m happy to say we had no major issues and we got through a lot of kilometres. Daniel will be in the car tomorrow and the programme will be largely similar.”