Davide Valsecchi topped the times on the third and final day of the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The reigning GP2
Series champion, who was running with Lotus, posted a 1 minute 42.677 second lap, which put him 0.150 seconds up on his closest rival. The Italian did 86 laps in total, while working on what the Enstone-based outfit described as a 'comprehensive' programme.
“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,” Valsecchi remarked. “I took it very easy in the morning so I could get used to the car and soon became 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 running. I want to say thank you to Lotus F1 Team who have been really good; the engineers and the mechanics have all been brilliant and it has been a great day for me.”
“The final day's running with Davide has been a good end to our Young Driver Test this year,” added Lotus race engineer, Simon Rennie. “In the morning we completed additional aerodynamic work and looked at further evaluation of our DDRS, providing us with enough data to make an informed decision at a later stage in Enstone.
“Before lunch Davide completed performance runs as he became accustomed to the set up and quickly explored the limits of the car. Obviously the step from GP2
to F1 is not enormous, but we were impressed with how quickly he was up to speed by this morning.
“For the afternoon session, we looked at developments of our front drums and then completed a tyre programme which gave Davide the opportunity to try out the various compounds.
"We ran the hard, medium and soft tyres and he found good improvements in terms of grip with each step in the compounds. All in all it's been a good day, and Davide did a great job.”
Kevin Magnussen was 'best of the rest', back in action for McLaren
after running on the opening day. His quickest effort was a 1m 42.827s, 0.176 seconds slower than the top time he posted on Tuesday, which incidentally was the fastest of the three-day test
In total the Dane did another 51 laps this afternoon running through a 'series of mechanical balance changes aimed at unlocking tyre performance'. The mileage he completed is sufficient now for him to be able to apply for an F1 Superlicence. Oliver Turvey meanwhile ran in the McLaren
MP4-27 in the morning, before handing the car over to Magnussen. Turvey finished up fifth as he continued the evaluation of a new front wing.