Adrian Quaife-Hobbs believes test with Virgin will help him in the future
|By Edd Straw||Tuesday, November 15th 2011, 10:37 GMT|
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs believes that his morning of running with Virgin Racing in the Abu Dhabi young driver test will make him better prepared for any future Formula 1 opportunities.
The 20-year-old, who has previously only driven the Virgin during two straightline test, was having his first serious experience of F1 as a reward for being the best-placed Manor Racing driver at the end of the GP3 season, completing 32 laps before handing the car over to Charles Pic for the afternoon.
But despite having only half-a-day in the car, he is happy that he has banked plenty of experience.
"It's definitely going to help," he told AUTOSPORT. "Thirty laps is better than not having any when you next get into a car. It gives you an idea to expect when you come back again. In terms of brakes, cornering, everything, it's just that level higher.
"Even the way you use the tyres is different. You leave the pit-lane with warm tyres whereas normally that first lap is about warming them up before attacking. But this time you already have that temperature. It's just a slightly different approach everywhere."
Quaife-Hobbs added that he found it easy to build up confidence in the car.
This is despite being relatively unfamiliar with the Yas Marina circuit after having previously only driven here during a GP2 test last year.
"I've not driven any other F1 cars but I was happy that the balance was very good, so that gave me the confidence to attack and push hard," he said. "The laptime is not quite there when you look at the Red Bull, but if you look relatively at the gap between the cars, it was quite good.
"The track was a bit of a challenge. The last time I drove here in GP2 I only did two days in testing and I haven't driven it this year. But it came back okay and I gradually picked up the pace lap by lap as I got used to the car and the circuit."