8 November 2012
Valsecchi quickest on final day of Abu Dhabi test
“This week's test in Abu Dhabi was extremely useful for the team,” summarised McLaren sporting director, Sam Michael. “Gary [Paffett], Oliver and Kevin all drove with great discipline to enable us to gather a considerable amount of data, collectively racking up more than 1500km.
“In addition, all three days were trouble-free, which is a great testament to the ongoing resolve of our mechanics and engineers, many of whom have been away from home for several weeks, and who travel directly on to the USA for the final two races of the season. They are a credit to our team.
“Gary and Oliver are outstanding team players and continue to deliver strongly for us. In Kevin's case, his pace, consistency and engineering feedback were all excellent. Given his performance, he certainly didn't look like a guy who had never turned a wheel in a modern F1 car before the start of this week!”
Sauber test and reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez came in third, adding another 80 laps to his tally, and improving his time to a low 1m 43s effort.
“I think today's programme was very useful,” said the Mexican. “Not only for me, but also for the team because we were able to test and analyse a lot of different things. I tried to give precise feedback over the day and in the end I was pushing a bit with the soft tyres, but I must admit I didn't manage to make use of the peak of the tyres' performance. Nevertheless I am very happy with how the two days of testing went and I want to thank the Sauber F1 Team for all its work.”
“Day three of this test was also a very productive one, as we got all the work done,” chipped in Sauber's head of track engineering, Giampaolo Dall'Ara. “Overall we are very happy with the mileage we covered here in Abu Dhabi and also with the feedback from the two young drivers. Today Esteban started with some more aero evaluation. We were running on high fuel, did some set up work and brake tests.
“Over lunch we changed the front suspension to test some new items. For the afternoon session we then gave Esteban some fresh tyres – one set of hard, two medium and one set of the soft compound.”
Behind, Robin Frijns got another chance out on track this time using the Red Bull RB8, his reward for winning this year's Formula Renault 3.5 series. The Dutchman's morning was spent on aero work but in the afternoon, around some mechanical testing, there was time for some performance runs and he ended the day fourth on a 1m 43.233s.
“It was a long day and we tested a lot on the car. I think I did a good job for the team and team worked hard with me so I'm pleased with how it all went,” said Frijns, who drove the Sauber C31 on Tuesday. “In the morning I was driving a little in cruise control as we were doing some aero work and the team needed accurate data with the flow-vis. In the afternoon there was some mechanical work, which was good and I think the team gathered a lot of useful data.
“I'd like to thank Renault for the opportunity to come to Red Bull Racing for this test in the RB8. It's the quickest car at the moment, so it was a real pleasure to drive for them today. Thanks also to Red Bull Racing for giving me this opportunity to drive the car.”
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