Whilst some luck people were able to take some time to visit the Young Drivers’ Test at Silverstone, which is open to the public, the rest of the dedicated fans were left watching the testing remotely via the power of the web – or mainly Twitter.
There are plenty of quotes and responses available (Sky have a full Test timeline) but what were the key points?
First up, who was fastest!
- Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1:33.602, 100 laps
- Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:33.774, 58 laps
- Antonio Felix Da Costa, Red Bull, 1:33.821, 82 laps
- James Calado, Force India, 1:33.986, 27 laps
- Daniel Juncadella, Williams, 1:34.098, 55 laps
- Johnny Cecotto, Toro Rosso, 1:34.193, 75 laps
- Robin Frijns, Sauber, 1:34.236, 72 laps
- Nic Prost, Lotus, 1:34.810, 72 laps
- Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1:34.874, 76 laps
- Alexander Rossi, Caterham, 1:35.651, 69 laps
- Tio Elinas, Marussia, 1:36.676, 36 laps
- Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:38.347, 27 laps
To put this in perspective, the Silverstone FP2 fastest time from Nico Rosberg was 1:32.248, over 1.5 seconds faster.
- The temperature was HOT! Pictures of the crowd showed them huddled in the shade, the temperatures were as warm or hotter than Hungary will be in a few weeks time and some tweeters were HAPPY when a cloud came by. Definitely not your normal Silverstone experience
- There was running most of the day, although with the usual early slow period and an unofficial break for lunch. If you’re attending, then be ready for quiet periods, but it seems you’ll usually be able to see some track action. However, fans are constrained between Abbey and Copse, so just under half the circuit, so don’t expect to be able to scout out your favourite seat for next year.
- Teams have been changing running order. With Red Bull, Da Costa got a full day, Ricciardo got moved to tomorrow afternoon and Webber got cancelled. Raikkonon also got cancelled for Friday, with Prost sticking around for another day. Marussia moved the opposite way, taking out Elinas and adding Chilton this afternoon as a surprise. The removal of race drivers is driven by the restrictions that have been placed on the teams when they are testing the new tyres.
- There were a lot of drivers out for their first ever time in an F1 car. Despite a mysterious Red flag in the morning session, no one appeared to have crashed. Let me repeat that NO ONE CRASHED! A minor miracle? Or were drivers being extra cautious after being told they would be paying for damages?
- Everybody got new tyres today. For the YDT part of the test, the teams used part of their 105 tyre set allocation for the year’s testing, but they were all of the new build – 2012 construction, 2013 rubber, as used at Germany. For the specific tyre test portions, future tyres were in use – were these for 2013, or new for 2014? No one (except Pirelli) knows!
- Red Bull appear to have discounted Jean-Eric Vergne in their replacement driver calculations. He’s not driving in the test and when pushed, Horner today said it was all between Raikkonen and Ricciardo. Does that mean that Toro Rosso will be looking for two new drivers next year? Da Costa must certainly be in with a chance given his performance today.
- Large sensors were the order of the day, and by large we mean HUGE! Lots of new parts were being tested and the teams bolted on the strangest of attachments.
- Lotus decided that their hashtag of the test would continue their recent bantering with Mercedes. #whereisroscoe was the question they asked (if you’re not up on the pet related antics of the drivers, Roscoe is the name of Hamilton’s dog)
Day 1 down, 2 more to go.