HRT Abu Dhabi young driver test Thursday report

HRT press release

On the third and final day of the Young Driver Test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, French driver Nathanael Berthon was the nominated driver to test for the HRT F1 Team.

The young 22 year-old French talent was consistent and progressed notably during the day, improving by two and a half seconds from the morning to the afternoon. He adapted quickly to the 5.554 km track and, after getting his first taste of the action yesterday where he completed 9 laps (49.98 kilometres) and focusing on adapting to the car, today work was focused on driving, set up of the control system and tyres.

Nathanael Berthon
Nathanael Berthon

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

The scheduled programme was completed without any incidents and Berthon was able to test up to eight different sets of tyres, made up of both soft and supersoft compounds.

In total, he completed 51 laps (283.25 kilometres) and finished the day in 12th position with a best time of 1’45.839. The team heads now to Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the last Grand Prix of the 2011 season will get under way in exactly one week.

Nathanael Berthon:


“Today was a great experience but it felt like it was too short. I would like to spend some more time in the car but, as a first step, it was very good. I’m very tall and the fitting wasn’t ideal but I think that my performance was good; the engineers told me that they were really satisfied with the test. This will serve me well for the future and it is in Formula 1 where I want to be once the moment comes.

The thing which surprised me the most about the experience wasn’t the car itself but everything that surrounds it. It’s really impressive to see how many different things the team works on and all the data they look at is incredible. As for the car, it is much more balanced than a GP2, the braking is good and my favourite thing is the steering wheel, which is really light. Overall everything is impressive and it’s been a good experience to have”.

Today was a great experience but it felt like it was too short

Nathanael Berthon

Ángel Baena, Race engineer:


“Today’s work plan was quite intense and we’re very satisfied with how it went. Both the team and the driver did a perfect job and we completed the programme. We planned various tyre tests for today to get a better understanding of their degradation and behavior on the first laps and also carried out some tests on the control system’s set up and some adjustments for next year’s car.

We had a good connection with the driver and he adapted very quickly to the car. You could see he was really motivated, brave on quick corners but also very professional. The only inconvenience was that he is really tall and didn’t feel too comfortable in the cockpit, but despite this he worked hard and it showed. I think he has great potential”.

Temperature: Air 32ºC, Track 46ºC
Track length: 5.554 km

Nathanael Berthon F111-003 #22 12th (51 laps) 1'45.839

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers James Smith , Nathanael Berthon
Tags abu dhabi, baena, berthon, yas marina