Jean-Eric Vergne remains on top in Abu Dhabi test
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, November 17th 2011, 08:34 GMT|
Red Bull driver Jean-Eric Vergne headed the final morning of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, setting a best mark just 0.436s off Sebastian Vettel's pole position time for last weekend's grand prix.
The Frenchman, who also topped the first two days of the test, improved on his best time by over a second to top the times by 2.430s from Ferrari's Jules Bianchi.
Oliver Turvey returned to work for McLaren after sitting out yesterday's running in favour of Gary Paffett. He ended the morning ahead of Force India returnee Max Chilton, who was fourth fastest overall.
Alexander Rossi, driving an F1 car for the first time since a tryout for BMW Sauber in December 2009, made his first appearance for Team Lotus. After spending the early running familiarising himself with the car, he ended up fifth fastest ahead of Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez.
Stefano Coletti returned to action for Scuderia Toro Rosso, ending up with a best time 5.628s off the pace. He hands over the car to Kevin Ceccon for the rest of the day.
Mirko Bortolotti was another to return to F1 action after two years away, driving for Williams as a prize for winning the F2 title. He ended the morning eighth fastest after improving on his final lap.
Nathanael Berthon had his first significant run in the HRT. He completed nine laps yesterday afternoon, but added a further 36 this morning. He ended up just five-hundredths of a second faster than Virgin's Charles Pic, with Renault debutant Jan Charouz a further eight-tenths behind.
Sam Bird was slowest on the timesheets, but spent the morning focusing on evaluation work, including running experimental exhausts for 2012 as Mercedes worked to understand the loss of performance from new regulations designed to outlaw blown diffusers.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1m38.917s 2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m41.347s 3. Olivier Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m42.346s 4. Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 1m42.618s 5. Alexander Rossi Lotus-Renault 1m44.381s 6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.531s 7. Stefano Coletti Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.545s 8. Mirko Bortolotti Williams-Cosworth 1m46.076s 9. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1m46.299s 10. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1m46.348s 11. Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 1m47.159s 12. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1m47.624s All Timing Unofficial