Daniel Ricciardo tops lap times at Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull Racing, July 2013

Day two of testing at Silverstone overnight was very fruitful for the Red Bull family. In the morning session Daniel Ricciardo drove for Toro Rosso and set the quickest time of the day (1:32.972). In the afternoon session he swapped cars, suited up for Red Bull Racing and posted the third fastest time of the day (1:33.187).

We can’t recall another time where a driver has tested two different F1 cars on the same day. Similarly, seeing Daniel’s name on the lap charts twice is a bit of a novelty.

Splitting Daniel’s two times was an impressive F1 debut for Carlos Sainz Jr in the Toro Rosso (1:33.016). The 18-year-old later described it as the “happiest day” of his life. That feeling may only last 24 hours, though, he’ll be driving for Red Bull later tonight.

Ricciardo’s status as a current F1 driver meant he was restricted to tyre testing as prescribed by Pirelli, whereas teams can make more changes to their cars when the nominated young drivers are at the wheel.

Clearly this was a big day for Daniel who hopes to be promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull at the end of the year. According to Christian Horner it’s a fight between Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen for the vacant seat.

Not long after Daniel set his fastest lap in the RB9 he had a minor off, but there was no damage done. Speaking afterwards the 24-year-old Australian said: “I did quite a few laps this afternoon, so I’m happy with that. I had a small off but otherwise it was a trouble-free day.

“It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts today. In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there’s still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I’ll switch my focus back to that and won’t get too caught up in any rumours.”

More importantly perhaps is the reaction from the team. Andy Damerum, RBR Race Engineering Co-ordinator, later said: “Daniel had only about 45 minutes to swap over from his morning tyre test to driving our car, a completely different machine, but he was up to speed very quickly. As ever his feedback was exemplary and he gave us a lot of information to go through.”

[Pics: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull Racing, July 2013

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull Racing, July 2013

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull Racing, July 2013

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull Racing, July 2013

Thursday 18 July 2013

SILVERSTONE YOUNG DRIVER TEST – DAY TWO

Driver (AM): António Félix da Costa
Car: RB9
Laps: 19 laps
Best time: 1:33.958

Driver (PM): Daniel Ricciardo
Car: RB9
Laps: 59 laps
Best time: 1:33.187

Circuit length: 5.891km
Fastest lap: D. Ricciardo (1:32.972, for Scuderia Toro Rosso)

Day Two of the Young Drivers’ Test saw Infiniti Red Bull Racing split its workload in two, with António Félix da Costa at the wheel of the RB9 in the morning and Daniel Ricciardo taking over in the afternoon for testing of Pirelli’s new specification tyres.

António picked up where he left off yesterday and though he managed just 19 laps, the Portuguese driver was pleased with his day and half’s work with the team.

“To drive the car for half of the three days of testing has been a fantastic opportunity,” he said. “It’s a good sign that the team believes I can carry such a heavy workload and get the job done. To be working with a world championship-winning team is the best learning experience you could have.”

Taking over in the afternoon, Daniel set about testing Pirelli’s tyres and working through the manufacturer’s programme.

“It was good today but very busy, so it’s still a bit of a blur,” he said. “I did quite a few laps this afternoon, so I’m happy with that. I had a small off but otherwise it was a trouble-free day. The off was my mistake, I just lost the rear on the entry. It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts today. In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there’s still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I’ll switch my focus back to that and won’t get too caught up in any rumours.”

Commenting on the day’s running Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “The morning was a bit frustrating as we were late going out. We discovered a problem with the car last night and that set us back. Despite that we did get some good data and António was excellent throughout. As for the afternoon, Daniel had only about 45 minutes to swap over from his morning tyre test to driving our car, a completely different machine, but he was up to speed very quickly. As ever his feedback was exemplary and he gave us a lot of information to go through.”

Unofficial test times from Silverstone (Day 2)

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:32.972, 48 laps
Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:33.016, 39 laps
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:33.187, 59 laps
Davide Valsecchi, Lotus, 1:33.554, 91 laps
Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:33.864, 97 laps
James Calado, Force India, 1:33.957, 47 laps
Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, 1:33.958, 19 laps
Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1:34.053, 97 laps
Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:34.116, 71 laps
Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, 1:34.224, 52 laps
Daniel Juncadella, Williams, 1:34.631, 33 laps
Robin Frijns, Sauber, 1:34.731, 17 laps
Will Stevens, Caterham, 1:36.082, 98 laps
Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:36.356, 41 laps
Rodolfo Gonzalez, Marussia, 1:37.949, 92 laps