Valsecchi on top with Lotus in Young Driver final day of Abu Dhabi testing

Dominant Davide

With the 2012 Formula 1 Young Driver Test drawing to a close in Abu Dhabi this afternoon, Davide Valsecchi topped the times for Lotus F1 Team at the Yas Marina Circuit as attention now turns to next week’s United States Grand Prix.

You’ve topped the timesheets today and hardly broken a sweat! How are you feeling? It’s been a really good experience for me; I was very pleased with my sessions and followed everything the team asked of me without making any mistakes. I took it very easy in the morning so I could get used to the car and soon become more confident, meaning towards the end I was much better in terms of pace. The team listened to my feedback and made the changes I suggested, particularly towards the end of the running. I want to say thank you to Lotus F1 Team who have been fantastic; the engineers and the mechanics have all been brilliant and it has been a great day for me.

It wasn’t easy; at 11:30 it was very hot indeed!

Davide Valsecchi

You set some pretty good times in the afternoon session; were you on soft tyres at the end? Yes, I ran three different types of tyre. It’s hard to make comparisons as we don’t have too much in terms of a reference so it’s not easy to see where you are in terms of time, but everything was done well so I’m very happy.

How exhausting was it? It’s very hot here, and it’s been a long day… It wasn’t easy; at 11:30 it was very hot indeed! The only thing that was not fantastic from my point of view was that my seat was not incredibly comfortable, but it was good enough to be quick and that’s the main thing! I had my own seat made at the factory in Enstone, but it’s always hard to have it perfect; particularly on just one day.

Did you feel a big difference in this car to that of the Caterham you tested last year? This car is top level; you can’t forget that Lotus F1 Team have just won a race! It was great to drive.

Davide Valsecchi, Lotus F1 Test Driver
Davide Valsecchi, Lotus F1 Test Driver

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How big is the step between GP2 and Formula 1? There are six or seven seconds between the speed of GP2 cars and Formula 1 cars. In the beginning you have to get used to the speed. Sometimes when you enter a corner, you do what you know from GP2 and then when you sit in a Formula 1 car there’s a whole other step. Everything is faster – the straight line speed, the braking, the minimum speed – so everything is better. You just have to get used to it and learn as quickly as you can how to be competitive. I began to feel comfortable on the third run when the team asked me to do five laps in a row, so I’m pleased that I picked it up pretty quickly.

Pos Driver Constructor Best time Laps
1 Davide Valsecchi Lotus 1m42.677s 86
2 Kevin Magnussen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m42.827s 51
3 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m43.093s 80
4 Robin Frijns Red Bull Racing 1m43.233s 53
5 Oliver Turvey Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m43.604s 44
6 Luiz Razia Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m45.286s 68
7 Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m46.485s 86

Times are unofficial

Lotus F1 Team

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Davide Valsecchi , Oliver Turvey , Luiz Razia , Alexander Rossi , Esteban Gutierrez , Robin Frijns , Kevin Magnussen
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Lotus F1 Team
Article type Testing report
Tags abu dhabi, lotus, pirelli, testing, valsecchi, yas marina, young driver