Out of the blue Red Bull tests in Hungary and Spain insane – Dennis

Surprise Red Bull test driver Jake Dennis says it was "insane" to see what a 2018 Formula 1 car is capable of after his "completely out of the blue" call-up

Out of the blue Red Bull tests in Hungary and Spain insane – Dennis

Dennis was a Racing Steps Foundation-backed rising star who won races in European Formula 3 and GP3 before he stopped racing single-seaters at the end of 2016.

He switched to GT3 racing for 2017 with Audi-backed squad WRT before joining Aston Martin's roster of drivers this year, and the British manufacturer's partnership with Red Bull meant Dennis also became a simulator driver for the F1 team.

The 2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner was then called up to test for Red Bull at Barcelona earlier this year with only a few days' notice.

He reprised that role in Hungary last week as Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum was not allowed to drive.

"The two tests have been completely out of the blue for me," Dennis told Autosport.

"I didn't expect it when I joined Red Bull and I don't think they did either.

"It's a dream come true to drive 2018 F1 cars, everyone has said how incredible they are and they live up to that expectation."

Dennis did not do performance running in Spain but was able to try Pirelli's hypersoft tyre in Hungary.

He lapped third-fastest and his 1m17.012s was just a tenth shy of Red Bull's fastest time from the grand prix weekend, albeit set on ultrasofts.

"I enjoyed that, to push these cars to their limits was a great experience," said Dennis.

"It's a phenomenal tyre, it's incredible. I struggled a bit in the final sector, but sectors one and two... it's insane what the cars can do."

The 23-year-old Briton completed 75 laps (349km/216 miles) at Barcelona but his tally at the Hungaroring was 131 laps (573km/356 miles), which he put down to more faith from the team and more preparation.

"I was definitely more relaxed, more than anything," he said. "I felt confident in the car in Barcelona, but it's just the team know what I'm capable of now - I don't have to prove myself and could enjoy it a bit more.

"Barcelona was so stressful, it was so last-minute - I got told four or five days before. "This time I've had lots of preparation and it helps, the amount of laps I did shows I was fit enough."

Dennis was one of four McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winners testing in Hungary, where he joined Mercedes and McLaren proteges George Russell (2014) and Lando Norris (2016) and Williams hopeful Oliver Rowland (2011).

The same quartet also tested in Spain, where McLaren simulator driver Oliver Turvey (2006) made it five Award winners in action.

Dennis said: "You've got Lando and George still on the F1 ladder and pushing hard in F2 to try to get a seat in F1.

"I'm on a different career path, I'm settled in GT3, making a living. "It's great to have so many Brits pushing well in F1 and motorsport."

shares
comments
How Ricciardo arrived at his toughest choice

Previous article

How Ricciardo arrived at his toughest choice

Next article

More details of Lauda's condition after lung transplant released

More details of Lauda's condition after lung transplant released
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021