Robert Doornbos enjoyed a relative easy-going Friday at the Shanghai International Circuit today. With his Red Bull Racing Grand Prix debut this Sunday in mind, the 25-year old Dutchman only used the afternoon session to complete his programme at the 5,451 meter long track. At a damp track, Doornbos drove 15 laps and finished the day in 27th position.
In order to save his sets of tyres and his engine, Doornbos let the testing programme in the first free practise session over to Michael Ammerm?ller, RBR's new third and reserve driver for the remaining three Grand Prix. In the same role as Doornbos had fulfilled in all previous race weekends this year, Ammerm?ller collected important data about the Michelin tyres this morning.
In the afternoon session Doornbos was quick to hit the track though. While dark clouds gathered above the circuit, Doornbos completed two runs in which he mainly focussed on finding the right race set-up for his RB2. As rain drizzled down throughout the second half of the session, Red Bull Racing assigned Doornbos to run on a conservative engine mode. With the track declared wet setting fast lap times was obviously not Doornbos' objective today.
Robert Doornbos: "This is quite a different approach to the weekend, than that I was used to in all previous Friday's so far this season! Instead of maximising my track time in both sessions, we now focussed on our preparations for tomorrow's qualifying and ofcourse Sunday's race. I think we did okay considering the unpredictable weather circumstances today."