Antonio Felix da Costa led the way on day two of the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Portuguese driver, who was second quickest on Tuesday for Red Bull, improved today to post a 1 minute 42.679 second lap, which put him almost half a second up on his closest rival, although it was still fractionally slower than the marker Kevin Magnussen put down yesterday in his McLaren
(a 1m 42.651s).
da Costa's day was again split into sessions of aero and mechanical work, with the morning given over to aero mapping and the afternoon to tyre work as well the testing of some car components.
“It's been another good day,” he summarised. “Again, we did a lot of mileage, which is good for me and for the team. On a day like this, when the conditions are perfect for testing, and with two grand's prix to go, I think the team needs to make the most of it and today I think we did that.
“It's been a great experience and I'd like to thank the whole team for their help and I hope I have been able to help them as well. I'll focus now on the future and I think most sensibly that probably means a full season in the Formula Renault
3.5 Series next year.”
Oliver Turvey meanwhile was 'best of the rest', despite having to share running time with fellow McLaren
tester, Gary Paffett.
Paffett ran in the morning only, with Turvey taking over in the afternoon and completing 62 tours in total.
DTM racer Edoardo Mortara came in third for Lotus, 0.242 seconds off Turvey, and he was happy with his very first outing in an F1 car: “I had a wonderful time and I'm so grateful to everyone at Lotus F1 Team for giving me this opportunity; I enjoyed every lap,” he reflected. “At the same time, it was pretty tough; I've come from a car which is a lot slower and the first laps were certainly an eye opener. I improved gradually over the day and I think my progression was pretty good.
“Every time I was on track I got a little bit better. I completed the test programme scheduled by the team so it's satisfying to be able to contribute to their season. It's been one of the best days of my life.”
"Edoardo spent the morning acclimatising himself to the car meaning that in the afternoon he was able to tune the set-up to his preferences," explained Lotus race engineer, Simon Rennie. "He did a great job, completing 75 laps and giving us a lot of valuable data to work with.
"We ran with new medium tyres in the afternoon meaning he was let off the leash a bit more to show his speed. At the end of the day he was third quickest, but there is more time to come from him and also the car. All in all, he did an excellent job today.”