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Testing gets underway with young drivers in Abu Dhabi // The Yas Marina circuit plays host to a three day test

Published by Christine

Testing gets underway with young drivers in Abu Dhabi
Credit: Force India F1 Images
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This is F1Minute - Testing gets underway with young drivers in Abu Dhabi.

The 2011 Young Driver Test began at the Yas Marina circuit today with Jean-Éric Vergne posting the fastest time, perhaps unsurprisingly, for Red Bull. He was almost a second fastest than Jules Bianchi in the Ferrari, with Robert Wickens taking the third fastest time for Renault.

Teams are using the opportunity to try out some designs for next year, as Williams demonstrated with their top-exiting exhausts - a requirement of the 2012 regulations. The team finished the session seventh overall, with driver Valtteri Bottas spending far too much time in the garage due to a gearbox problem.

Pirelli are also using the test for their own purposes, trying out some new compounds for next season. Motorsport director Paul Hembery said of the day’s work: “Although the young drivers don’t have the same experience as the regular drivers, this three-day test will be a good education for them. It’s also very important in terms of information gathering, for both ourselves and the teams, as we aim to make the tyres an even more prominent feature of the action in 2012.”