2013 Young Driver Test Day One: McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen leads way
Dane pips Di Resta & Da Costa to fastest time at scorching Silverstone
By James Galloway at Silverstone. Last Updated: 02/12/13 5:14pm
McLaren youngster Kevin Magnussen swept to the top of the timesheets late on at the opening day of the revamped Young Driver Test at Silverstone.
The 20-year-old Dane, son of the team's former driver Jan, had propped up the field at lunchtime but as the afternoon progressed steadily worked his way up the order before toppling long-time pacesetters Paul Di Resta and Antonio Felix da Costa in the final 30 minutes with a time of 1:33.602. He ended the day with exactly 100 laps completed.
But while there were several other notable performances from the rookies in the field on an uncharacteristically scorching Northamptonshire Wednesday - particularly Britain's James Calado, who finished fourth on his full F1 test debut - the first day of the combined young driver/Pirelli tyre test was undoubtedly overshadowed by the big-name withdrawals of Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen from scheduled appearances later in the week.
The pair had been due to be in their Red Bull and Lotus cars on Thursday afternoon and Friday respectively but owing to a clarification from the FIA over how and what the race drivers are able to test this week, neither multiple race winners will now take part.
With Daniel Ricciardo's effective 2014 Red Bull audition duly moved to Thursday afternoon, Di Resta and, belatedly after an ECU problem on his Marussia, Max Chilton were the only two regular race drivers to take to the track on day one.
Having taken over the Force India VJM06 from Calado at lunchtime, Di Resta wasted little time getting to the top of the timesheet and during the course of the afternoon traded fastest times with Portuguese rising star Da Costa, who again impressed for Red Bull.
Di Resta, who was only able to focus on tyre testing during the course of his 58 laps, beat Calado's earlier benchmark by two tenths of a second but that was no slight on the latter's debut performance. The GP2 race winner only completed 27 laps during his first morning in the car but wasn't short on pace as he stayed within 0.4s of Magnussen's later fastest lap.
"It was an unbelievable experience, I really cannot put it into words," the 24-year-old told reporters at lunchtime.
"After a few induction laps and things the novelty of the brakes and the grip started to wear off and I was able to give some good feedback and set some reasonable lap times which for my first time is pretty impressive."
Another debutant to impress was the reigning F3 Euroseries champion Daniel Juncadella who, after losing track time early in the morning while Williams repaired bodywork, worked his way up to fifth on the timesheets after 55 laps.
Venezuela's Johnny Cecotto took sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of Sauber's Robin Frijns with Nicolas Prost (Lotus) and Davide Rigon (Ferrari) both completing more than 70 laps.
After GP3 championship leader Tio Ellinas had put 36 laps on Marussia's MR02 by lunchtime, Chilton's introduction into the test was delayed under the final hour of running while the team's mechanics worked to resolve a problem with the car's Electronic Control Unit.
The Briton managed to put 27 laps thereafter across some longer runs, and although all race drivers in action this week are required to run to very strict parameters set by Pirelli, Chilton found his time trying the new tyres useful.
"Any mileage is always a benefit for sure," he told reporters.
"We need as much mileage as we can, especially when tyres are changing halfway through the season. The team need the information and it's nice as a driver to tell how they're going.
"I did a long race run stint at the end and I could really get a feel of what these new tyres are like so at least I know what these tyres are doing.
"They're harder to get the tyre temp up and they don't have as much grip, but they last very well and they are very consistent."
Young Driver Test Day One times:
1. Magnussen, McLaren, 1:33.602, 100 laps
2. Di Resta, Force India, 1:33.774, 58 laps
3. Da Costa, Red Bull, 1:33.821, 82 laps
4. Calado, Force India, 1:33.986, 27 laps
5. Juncadella, Williams, 1:34.098, 55 laps
6. Cecotto, Toro Rosso, 1:34.193, 75 laps
7. Frijns, Sauber, 1:34.236, 72 laps
8. Prost, Lotus, 1:34.810, 72 laps
9. Rigon, Ferrari, 1:34.874, 76 laps
10. Rossi, Caterham, 1:35.651, 69 laps
11. Elinas, Marussia, 1:36.676, 36 laps
12. Chilton, Marussia, 1:38.347, 27 laps.