Vergne ended the first day on top
Jean-Eric Vergne set the pace on the first day of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
Jules Bianchi tested a strange aero device
The 21-year-old, who recently tested for Toro Rosso and finished 2nd in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series, set a time of 1:40.011 – 1.530 seconds slower than Sebastian Vettel’s pole position time last Saturday.
He was nearly a second faster than Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi, who tested a ridiculous-looking aerodynamic device on the side of his car in the morning. Robert Wickens, driving for Renault, was another 1.3 seconds behind.
Fabio Lemer, the fastest driver of the day to never drive an F1 car before, was 4th for Sauber. McLaren shared their car between 30-year-old Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey finishing 5th and 8th respectively.
GP2 driver Max Chilton (whose brother Tom drives in touring cars) was 6th for Force India. Valtteri Bottas finished in 7th in the Williams FW32.
Mercedes GP test driver Sam Bird was 9th, ahead of Rodolfo Gonzalez (Lotus) and Stefano Coletti (Toro Rosso – also another newcomer to an F1 car). Dani Clos was 12th for HRT.
The two slowest drivers of the day were both Virgin Racing drivers. Charles Pic – who is widely tipped to join the team next year – finished three tenths faster than Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
Bottas was the only driver to suffer serious technical failure, losing several hours of running time due to a gearbox problem.
Times from day 1:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1:40.011 83
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:40.960 85
3. Robert Wickens Renault 1:42.217 78
4. Fabio Leimer Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.331 67
5. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.912 41
6. Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 1:43.016 81
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1:43.118 71
8. Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1:43.502 35
9. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1:43.548 51
10. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus-Renault 1:44.022 87
11. Stefano Coletti Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:45.278 87
12. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1:45.329 68
13. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1:46.930 30
14. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Virgin-Cosworth 1:47.292 32