We’ve been glued to our seats today… checking twitter and text messages every five minutes – not because we’re desperate for a friendly text message but instead because we’ve had a handful of our drivers out in Abu Dhabi taking part in the young driver F1 test.
Carlin’s GP2 driver Max Chilton and both our Formula Renault 3.5 drivers, Jean-Eric Vergne and Robert Wickens, have been out impressing the Formula One teams today. Max was with Force India, and will once again be gracing the cockpit on Thursday, Jean-Eric has been in the Red Bull car (and will be for the entirety of the test) while Robert was with Renault today and will be getting behind the wheel of the Marussia Virgin F1 car on Thursday.
Watching from afar we were not at all surprised to see that the three Carlin lads were setting some great times, as further information kept coming our way it became apparent that JEV in the Red Bull would be the driver to beat. The Red Bull challenger being just as competitive in testing as it is in race trim! The Frenchman set the fastest time of the day, almost a second ahead of the next runner.
His FR3.5 2011 teammate Robert, also did a great job today and was extremely happy to finish the day in the top three and now has a further chance to impress a second team as he prepares to drive the Marussia car later this week.
Max, who jumped into the car straight off the back of a GP2 race this weekend, impressed in the Force India immediately. Finishing the day in a great sixth position, despite suffering from a KERS failure, Max set his fastest time of the day on his final lap – once again showing his knack for putting a super quick lap together when needed – just what we’re used to from GP2 qualifying! To see more of Max make sure that you tune into the BBC F1 show this weekend where his interview with Lee McKenzie, about the young driver test, will be broadcast.
Stay tuned to our twitter feed over the next couple of days as we continue to keep a watchful eye out for how our lads are doing. Aw, don’t we sound like proud parents?!