Antonio Felix da Costa was quickest on day two of the young driver test for Red Bull
Red Bull driver fastest by half a second on his final day
By William Esler. Last Updated: 07/11/12 4:03pm
Antonio Felix da Costa was comfortably quickest on day two of the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi as Red Bull topped the timesheets by half a second.
The highly-rated Portuguese driver improved by a tenth on his best time yesterday - on what was his final day in the car before handing over to Formula Renault 3.5 Champion Robin Frijns for day three.
Oliver Turvey, who was testing a new front wing for McLaren, was second quickest, ahead of Edoardo Mortara in the Lotus.
Esteban Gutierrez was fourth quickest for Sauber - the Mexican the busiest driver of the day completing 93 laps. He will remain in the car on Thursday as he looks to secure a race seat in 2013.
"The morning session was very interesting for me because we tested a lot of different things, and I hope I gave my most precise feedback to the engineers," the 21-year-old said.
"After being in the car so recently in India, of course, I feel a lot more confident in handling all the system like KERS and DRS. In the morning session I used only hard tyres, but in the afternoon I certainly enjoyed running the medium as well as the soft compound.
"The last sector of the track I find a bit tricky, especially turn 20. I don't have the confidence yet to push harder there."
Giedo van der Garde was the slowest of the seven runners as Caterham focussed on aero work and long run pace during his 72 laps.
"It's been a great couple of days here in Abu Dhabi and I want to thank the team for giving me the chance to drive in the rookie test yesterday and today," the Dutchman who will hand over to Alexander Rossi for the final day said.
"Today we ran considerably more laps than on day one. We spent the morning running through more aero work and ran with a number of different setups that give the team a huge amount of data to work through that will be really useful for the last two races of the season.
"In the afternoon we switched to longer runs, looking at tyre management and how the car behaves on different fuel loads and I'm pleased with the progress we made. Towards the end of the session we put soft tyres on and I had a couple of runs that were closer to the performance runs we do in P3 - the car had more fuel than in quali but I'm pretty happy with where I ended up.
"Next up for me is P1 in Brazil, another track that'll be new for me but with the time I've had on track here, and in the other P1s I've done this year, I think that'll be a good session for me. I'm not doing P1 in Austin as the team needs maximum time on track for the race drivers, but I'll be going to the race as Reserve Driver and I'm really looking forward to getting out there - it's going to be a great week for sure."
Unofficial test times
1) Antonio Felix da Costa Red Bull 1:42.679 62 Laps
2) Oliver Turvey McLaren 1:43.176 62 Laps
3) Edoardo Mortara Lotus 1:43.418 75 Laps
4) Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:43.485 94 Laps
5) Gary Paffett McLaren 1:43.771 41 Laps
6) Johnny Cecotto Jr Toro Rosso 1:44.569 76 Laps
7) Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:45.106 72 Laps