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Bottas again leads the way on final day of Young Driver Test


By Berthold Bouman

Williams test and reserve driver Valtteri Bottas again topped the time sheets today at a dry Silverstone circuit. Yesterday the Finn completed 120 laps on the Grand Prix configuration of the track, today he completed 170 laps on the shorter International circuit configuration of Silverstone.

Bottas again fastest at final day of Young Driver Test

Bottas lapped the circuit in 48.963 seconds, second was Marussia’s Max Chilton who posted a fastest time of 49.932s, third was second Marussia driver 19-year old Rio Haryanto with a time of 50.405s.

Bottas said about his second day of testing, “It was another successful day today for the team, with a trouble-free performance and no problems with the car. It was useful to get some longer runs in again today and it was good for me to get a better understanding of the tyres, and how the team works.”

After technical problems hampered Marussia’s testing yesterday, both Chilton and Haryanto today concentrated on gaining enough mileage to obtain a FIA Super License, necessary to drive a Formula One car during an official Formula One event.

With this license both drivers are allowed to take part in the usual Friday and Saturday free practice sessions. Haryanto completed 79 laps during the morning, while Chilton completed 52 laps in the afternoon.

Chilton was positive about his two days of testing, “I’m heading home feeling very happy with how the two days have gone for me. We’ve been particularly lucky as, given the weather in England at the moment, I managed to get two half days of dry running. It has been a fantastic experience and I can’t thank the team enough for the experience and support.”

Haryanto was pleased with the progress he made in the Marussia MR01, “The programme was not easy, and there were a lot of new and different things to learn. The team pushed me hard, but this is what I need to be able to show my potential. We also got a lot of work done for the team to prepare for the next Grand Prix.”

Team Principal John Booth commented, “I have thoroughly enjoyed spending the past two days here at Silverstone keeping a close eye on our two young drivers and I have been very impressed with what I have seen of Max and Rio.”

He was also pleased about the performance of the Marussia team, “From a team perspective we have also been able to mix things up a little in terms of the different roles, swapping a few of the engineers and mechanics around to give them a chance to shine and advance themselves. Everyone has pulled together to make this test a real success, so well done to all on what has been another important chapter in our Young Driver Programme.”

HRT didn’t participate in the second day of the Young Driver Test and instead went home to their factory in Madrid, preparing for the German Grand Prix on July 22, which this year will take place at the Hockenheimring.

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Bottas on top of Silverstone Thursday Young Driver Test


By Berthold Bouman

Unfortunately for all young drivers hoping to once make it into Formula One, this year’s Young Driver Test has become a sort of farce, as only HRT, Williams and Marussia will be testing at Silverstone on July 12 and 13. The other teams did not wish to test at Silverstone, but will be conducting their Young Driver Test at the Yas Marina Circuit after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 4.

Valtteri Bottas was fastest in the Williams today

Driving for Williams today was Valtteri Bottas, who completed several short and long runs. However, the famous British summer struck again as it started to rain towards the end of the day. Bottas commented, “We had a little rain towards the end but tested everything we wanted to on mixed fuel levels. It’s been a really useful day for both me and the team. The shorter runs are good fun, especially on this track, but I was particularly looking forward to the longer runs. It was really useful to gather some information on how the tyres behave over the various runs and I feel that I am continuing to improve as a driver.”

Tom McCullough, Williams Race Engineer, was happy with the 22-year old Finn’s performance, “The car was reliable all day allowing us to gather lots of data for evaluation. We had a very ambitious run plan and achieved nearly everything which is a good result. Valtteri drove excellently all day, doing everything we asked of him without putting a foot wrong.”

The Spanish HRT team decided at the last moment to also test at Silverstone instead of Abu Dhabi. Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua was the lucky one to get behind of the wheel of the HRT F112, it was his first outing in a Formula One car. “It was a fantastic feeling to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time; it’s not easy to put into words what I felt. Yesterday I found it hard to sleep and I tried to calm down by thinking that it was just another test,” he said.

And he further commented, “By being here during the Grand Prix, I learned a lot from my team mates and also to work as a team, as it is very important to give the right information to the engineers in order to optimise the performance of the car. In the morning we did the maximum amount of running to get used to the car, engineers and mechanics and buttons, and also to gain confidence.”

Team Principal Louis Perez-Sala stated, “We’re very happy to have given Ma this opportunity and also very satisfied and proud of how it went. We’ve got a lot of trust in him and he has responded by doing a good job. We’ve followed him for a long time and since he joined our programme he’s proven his ability and work capacity. nd today he showed it once more with an excellent job. It’s not easy to drive a Formula 1 car and he made no mistakes.”

For Marussia, Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto were in the MR01, Chilton was in the car in the morning and Haryato in the afternoon, but both experienced technical problems.

Fastest today was Bottas with a time of 1m31.436s, Chilton was second and fastest for Marussia with a lap of 1m36.558s, Haryanto third with 1m37.404s and Chinese driver Qing Hua was fourth with 1m37.829s in the HRT. Bottas completed 120 laps, Chilton 34, Haryanto 19 and Qing Hua 82.