Vettel Fastest On Final Day Of Silverstone Test

Photo: LAT Photographic

topped the times for Red Bull as the Young Driver Test came to a conclusion at Silverstone Friday.

Vettel was one of seven race drivers in tire testing action, along with Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi.

Vettel took over the RB9 from Carlos Sainz Jr. in the afternoon, and managed to squeeze in 79 laps of running.

Sutil was second fastest overall in the Force India, having been quickest at the end of the morning session.

Nicolas Prost got back in the Lotus and was a solid third, ahead of Sainz Jr. Ferrari tester David Rigon just outpaced team regular Massa after taking over from the Brazilian, while both Vergne and McLaren’s Gary Paffett lost track time to mechanical issues.

Inevitably, much attention was focused on Susie Wolff, who completed her first proper test in the current Williams. She was a respectable ninth overall on the day.
“It was fantastic today,” said Wolff. “The team did a great job getting me through the day, talking me through everything step by step. In hindsight it would have been good to run the new tires later in the day after I’d had more time in the car, as I don’t think I got the best out of the medium tires.

“Physically it wasn’t easy, but it was what I was expecting. I was well-prepared so it was completely manageable. My only problem was my seat, as I was moving around a little. Doing the pit stops this afternoon was also really beneficial, as there is a lot to think about coming into the stops. It was a fantastic experience.”

Making their first F1 appearances were Russian Daniil Kvyat, who had a trip into the gravel in the Toro Rosso, and Japanese Auto GP racer Kimiya Sato, who drove the Sauber.

“It was a really nice feeling, with all that downforce and power,” said Kyvat. “The more laps you do, the more you get used to it, and on my last run, I was already trying to push and find the limits. Unfortunately, we lost some time when I made a mistake and ran into the gravel. I’m not sure what happened: I just felt a lack of grip at the rear from the tires and had snap oversteer.”

Jules Bianchi also had an off in the Marussia, although in his case it resulted from a mechanical failure.

Unofficial Friday test times from Silverstone:
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:32.894, 79 laps
2. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:33.242, 99 laps
3. Nicolas Prost, Lotus, 1:33.256, 83 laps
4. Carlos Sainz Jr, Red Bull, 1:33.546, 35 laps
5. Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1:33.592, 20 laps
6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:33.624, 69 laps
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:33.647, 42 laps
8. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:34.924, 77 laps
9. Susie Wolff, Williams, 1:35.093, 89 laps
10. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1:35.155, 65 laps
11. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:35.281, 22 laps
12. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:35.576, 60 laps
13. Kimiya Sato, Sauber, 1:35.642, 67 laps
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Marussia, 1:36.339, 24 laps
15. James Calado, Force India, 1:36.451, 5 laps
16. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1:36.744, 39 laps