McLaren's Kevin Magnussen fastest on Day One of Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test
Seven drivers and six teams in action at Yas Marina Circuit
Last Updated: November 8, 2012 2:53pm
McLaren hopeful Kevin Magnussen set the pace on day one of the Young Driver Test at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Dane, who joined McLaren's Young Driver Programme last year, narrowly edged out the Red Bull of Antonio Felix da Costa with a lap of 1:42.651 to top the end-of-day timesheets. Gary Paffett, who took over the McLaren in the afternoon, was third quickest.
But the action may have been more significant further down the six-team field, with a number of 2013 hopefuls striving to impress.
Most notably, Robin Frijns was at the wheel of the Sauber amid reports that the Dutchman is poised to replace Kamui Kobayashi were he to impress this week.
Frijns' best time was a 1:43.775, leaving him fourth quickest, and in the words of the Sauber team "exhausted but happy."
"Gosh this was hard work!" the 21-year-old exclaimed after completing 78 laps. "Not in the beginning but then suddenly I felt it, especially from the brakes. I am really tired now and know I have to go and exercise more.
"There is obviously a lot to learn. On my fastest lap with the soft tyres I made a mistake, so there was more to come. The team did a great job during the day and I want to thank them for that."
For Toro Rosso, Luiz Razia was at the wheel of the STR7 car that was last used in September's Italian GP.
"I enjoyed my first experience working with Toro Rosso today, on a track I know well, having driven here in 2010 and '11," he said. "Overall, it was a good day as the car ran troublefree and I was able to do a lot of laps."
Driving a Lotus, Nicholas Prost, the son of former World Champion Alain, garnered plenty of attention, while another 2013 contender, Giedo van der Garde, brought up the rear for Caterham. However, the youngster was content with his work.
"I'm pleased with how today went," said van der Garde. "We were mainly working on aero performance, running sensors and different mechanical configurations on the car in the morning and afternoon sessions and to get the most out of them I had to drive consistently, carefully and not go for outright speed.
"I think the team's happy with what I've done today and physically I feel great after running a good number of laps. After my FP1 session here in Abu Dhabi was cut short it was good to get some really decent time on track and the key thing for me is to keep developing my relationship with the team. There's still a few tweaks we could make to the setup to suit my driving style a bit more but we have tomorrow to work on a few more setup options, as well as continuing to test parts and aero programs."
Day One Timesheet
1) Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:42.651 40 laps
2) Antonio Felix da Costa Red Bull 1:42.717 79 laps
3) Gary Paffett McLaren 1:43.407 44 laps
4) Robin Frijns Sauber 1:43.775 78 laps
5) Nicolas Prost Lotus-Renault 1:44.194 55 laps
6) Luiz Razia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:44.691 67 laps
7) Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:45.936 57 laps
Wednesday's test line-up
Red Bull: Antonio Felix da Costa
McLaren: Gary Paffett (morning), Kevin Magnussen (afternoon)
Lotus: Edoardo Mortara
Sauber: Esteban Gutierrez
Toro Rosso: Jonny Cecotto Jr
Caterham: Giedo van der Garde