Driver: Pierre Gasly
Best time: 1:43.891
Circuit length: 5.891km
Fastest Lap: F. Alonso (1:31.290)
Just two days after a thrilling British Grand Prix, Formula One’s final in-season test of the year got underway at Silverstone today and fresh from a superb GP2 race win over the weekend, Red Bull Junior Programme driver Pierre Gasly made the step up to Formula One machinery, piloting the RB12 across 44 laps of the Northamptonshire circuit. The Frenchman finished in P11 for the day after being delayed by electronics issues in the dry morning session and conducting the bulk of his running in frequently damp afternoon conditions. Early in the morning the team also tested the latest version of the Halo head protection device.
“This morning we didn’t run much but in the afternoon on the inters and the wets we did some good work. It’s always good to get some running in the wet and hopefully it will give them some good information on the car,” said Pierre afterwards. “It was quite tricky today because in some place it was really raining hard, out of Turn 7 and around the back of the track, and then on the main straight it was quite dry so you really need to adapt quickly to the conditions. For me it was really good training because you really need to analyse the conditions and try to be as fast as possible. It wasn’t an easy day. As the Halo device, I was a bit surprised, as it doesn’t change that much. For sure it looks different but from the inside of the car it doesn’t change much.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “Not ideal today, in fact it was half a day as we had an electronics issue this morning, which proved quite difficult to cure so we lost all the vast majority of our running before lunch. Then in the afternoon it was obviously wet so again not ideal but we did get some good running in the damp conditions and there was plenty of work to get through anyway. We have a quite a lot of test items to get through and by and large that’s not weather dependent. Of course if it’s wet all time that’s not good as we’ll run out of tyres but the conditions are set to improve a bit tomorrow so I think we should get through what we want to accomplish. Pierre drove really well today. It’s not his first test for us, so he’s a known quantity. His feedback is excellent and he’s very solid.”