Current British Formula 3 champion Daniel Ricciardo ended the three day Formula One Young Driver Test at the top of the time sheets, after completing over 280 laps of the Jerez Circuit in Spain.

The 20 yearr old Australian spent all three days of the test completing long full tank runs aboard the Red Bull RB5 before setting the overall quickest time on Wednesday... [read more]

The man from Perth was delighted with his performance and commented “These last three days have been an incredible experience for me, and I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity, which has made me even more determined to make it into Formula 1 one day. I know it was just a test, but seeing my name on the top of today’s timesheet was really something special.”

With most teams completing valuable work towards evaluating car performance with high fuel loads due to fuel stops being banned for next year most of the nominated "Young Drivers" (who by FIA rules must not have competed in more than 2 GP's) got plenty of first hand experience over the course of the sessions

Starring for the AT&T Williams team on the first day was reigning FIA Formula Two champion Andy Soucek (Below) who ended his one and only day of the test two tenths up on Force India's Paul Di Resta. Soucek who took the title in the revamped for 2009 FIA series felt he had fulfilled his ambition for the test, "Tuesday was a perfect day, a dream day" said the Spaniard "I thought I was near the front, but I never expected to finish at the top of the times. I’m very proud of myself but I also have to thank Williams for this opportunity. He went on to say "I still can’t believe I’ve just had my first Formula One test, it feels like a dream! This has been an amazing year for me and I think I deserve a seat in Formula One next year. I’m doing everything I can to secure a drive, and I think my performance this week will help with that objective.”

One man who had a rather unusual test was World Series By Renault champion Bertrand Baguette who spent Tuesday aboard the Renault R29 (Below) as reward for his 2009 crown, before taking a seat in the Sauber for the final day. Sauber engineers were very pleased with his feedback and although he was not sent out on a low fuel run, instead concentrating on aero work, the talented Belgian said "In the morning I was worried because of the weather conditions but, apart from the rain at lunch time, it turned out to be a very nice day and we completed our entire programme. Of course I’m also happy that I managed to get in a good lap time on my very last run despite a lot of fuel on board. He added "The balance of the car was very good, I enjoyed the driving a lot.

Britain’s DTM ace Paul Di Resta (below) spent all three days running with Force India and impressed mightily. The young Scotsman was never outside the top four of the timesheets at the end of each day and surely will have given his chances of securing a reserve driver spot (should he so wish) with the VJ Malley team no end of good. Paul who has previously tested with Mclaren commented "The VJM02 is certainly impressive and although I am still learning, I felt I could get to grips with it fairly quickly. I've driven the McLaren twice before and this experience has helped me today, but for sure there's a lot of difference between the last time and today. It's obviously a new circuit and the car is built to the new regulations with slick tyres and less downforce but it behaved as I expected and we didn't have any issues at all".

With nine teams in total and 19 different drivers the 3 days at Jerez were extremely busy. Although giving the chance for some very talented up and coming drivers to shine, most of the teams work was centred around gathering valuable data towards next year and the next round of rule changes.

Unofficial Timing // Jerez "Young Driver" F1 Test // December 1-3

Tuesday December 2nd 2009

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Andy Soucek, Williams, 1:19.158, 87 laps
2. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:19.369, 46 laps
3. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:19.426, 54 laps
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:19.534, 113 laps
5. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:19.626 91, laps
6. Mike Conway, Brawn-Mercedes, 1:19.920, 58 laps
7. Alexander Rossi, BMW Sauber, 1:20.227, 82 laps
8. Marcus Ericsson, Brawn-Mercedes, 1:20.333, 50 laps
9. Bertrand Baguette, Renault, 1:20.511, 105 laps
10. JR Hildebrand, Force India, 1:20.537, 49 laps
11. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:20.856 27, laps
12. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, 1:21.325, 69 laps

Wednesday December 3rd 2009

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Gary Paffett, McLaren-Mercedes, 1:18.718, 80 laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams-Toyota, 1:19.184, 94 laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1:19.243, 92 laps
4. Paul Di Resta, Force India-Mercedes, 1:19.411, 58 laps
5. Esteban Gutierrez, BMW, 1:20.190, 68 laps
6. Mike Conway, Brawn-Mercedes, 1:20.222, 83 laps
7. Marcus Ericsson, Brawn-Mercedes, 1:20.440, 37 laps
8. JR Hildebrand, Force India-Mercedes, 1:20.517, 49 laps
9. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:20.586, 113 laps
10. Lucas Di Grassi, Renault, 1:20.898, 54 laps
11. Ho-Pin Tung, Renault, 1:21.492, 67 laps
12. Mirko Bortolotti, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:21.761, 79 laps

Thursday December 4th 2009

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Ricciardo Red Bull 1m17.418, 77 laps
2. Di Resta Force India 1m18.736, 53 laps
3. Paffett McLaren 1m18.746, 59 laps
4. Conway Brawn 1m19.096, 77 laps
5. Hulkenberg Williams 1m19.226, 106 laps
6. Baguette Sauber 1m19.356, 70 laps
7. Turvey McLaren 1m19.358, 32 laps
8. Ericsson Brawn 1m19.382, 49 laps
9. Di Grassi Renault 1m19.602, 123 laps
10. Hildebrand Force India 1m19.873, 41 laps
11. Sanchez Ferrari 1m21.147, 39 laps
12. Zampieri Ferrari 1m21.279, 42 laps
12. Zipoli Ferrari 1m21.725, 41 laps
13. Hartley Toro Rosso 1m22.493, 50 laps
15. Bortolotti Toro Rosso 1m23.271, 34 laps
16. Tung Renault 1m32.477, 4 laps

Photo: F1Fanatic
Editorial: Neil Tozer

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