Jean-Eric Vergne topped the first morning of running in the Abu Dhabi young driver test for Red Bull Racing. The Frenchman, who tested for Scuderia Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi last year, was having his first experience of testing a Red Bull. He went to the top of the times mid-morning, ending up fastest with a mark of 1m40.707s.
Ferrari tester Jules Bianchi, who, like Vergne, will run on all three days, was second fastest, almost two seconds off the pace as Ferrari concentrated on aerodynamic test work. He was almost nine tenths faster than Oliver Turvey, returning to the cockpit for McLaren.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, on his first experience of F1 machinery outside of straightline testing, was fourth fastest, just over three seconds off the pace. His Williams was equipped with a 2012-specification exhaust (see separate story). Fabio Leimer, on his first F1 test for Sauber, was sixth fastest ahead of Renault's Robert Wickens and Lotus returnee Rodolfo Gonzalez.
Also making their full F1 debuts this morning were Max Chilton (Force India), Stefano Coletti (Toro Rosso) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who will hand his Virgin over to GP2 race winner Charles Pic for this afternoon.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1m40.707s 33
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m42.632s 34
3. Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m43.502s 35
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1m43.816s 47
5. Fabio Leimer Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.354s 34
6. Robert Wickens Renault 1m44.579s 29
7. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus-Renault 1m45.026s 44
8. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1m45.564s 12
9. Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 1m45.714s 42
10. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1m46.922s 39
11. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Virgin-Cosworth 1m47.292s 32
All Timing Unofficial