Continuing Red Bull's dominance at the head of Formula One, Red Bull prot?g? Daniel Ricciardo was an impressive 1.5s quicker than his nearest rival in Abu Dhabi earlier today on the Yas Marina Circuit during the first test for the young drivers wishing to impress the Formula 1 teams.
After a total of 70 laps, the young Australian's lap of 1:39.616s would have seen him qualify for last Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 3rd place on the grid behind eventual champion Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Fully aware that the pressure was on 12 months after he had impressed the F1 fraternity in Jerez, Spain, Ricciardo told the Australian Associated Press he knew what the expectations would be from both inside and outside the team. "Last year's test went well and now having spent a year with them, they'll expect pretty solid feedback," the 21 year old confirmed. "There is more pressure on me to be fastest, especially as the team has won the Constructors' Championship and everyone knows it's probably the fastest car out there nine times out of ten - but I just want to enjoy it, that's the main thing. Not many 21-year-old kids can drive the fastest car around."
Driving for McLaren, Oliver Turvey impressed after setting a 1:41.094s lap with Force India's Antonio Felix da Costa a further three tenths behind. Sauber were represented by Esteban Gutierrez who finished the day in 4th with a best time of 1:41.834, followed by the Renault of Mikhail Aleshin and the Williams of Dean Stoneman, both of whom set fastest laps of 1: 42.073 and 1:42.298 respectively.
Torro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Force India's, Paul di Resta finished the day in 7th and 8th positions, with Sam Bird and Jules Bianchi rounding out the top ten for Mercedes and Ferrari.
Despite setting more laps than anyone else - 94 in total - Hispania driver Pastor Maldonado was unable to make much impression but has given the Spanish outfit the unusual feeling of not setting a lap time as if they were towing a caravan . That was left instead to Virgin's Jerome d'Ambrosio who claimed 12th, team mate (for this test only) Rio Haryanto (14th) and Rodolfo Gonzalez in the Lotus who ended the day in 13th position.