Daniel Ricciardo gained two podium places as the second day of the F1 Young Driver Test came to a close at Silverstone.
Testing for both Toro Rosso and Infiniti Red Bull he contributed to what was an energy drinks 1-2-3 as the Australian came first for Toro Rosso with a time of 1:32.972 – four hundredths faster than Carlos Sainz Jr who took the afternoon shift at Toro Rosso before Ricciardo, also racing in the afternoon, set a time just two tenths slower than his fastest time.
The test for Ricciardo has been well discussed in the media as the perfect opportunity for the Milton Keynes based team to get a good look at one possible replacement for WEC bound Mark Webber.
Ricciardo himself, however, remained very tight lipped over the speculation: “It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts today. In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there’s still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I’ll switch my focus back to that and won’t get too caught up in any rumours.”
The second driver to test for Red Bull, Antonio Felix Da Costa, managed a respectable seventh out of the 15 drivers on track at different points of the day.
Failing to break in to the bovine top three by only 0.4 seconds was Davide Valsecchi completing 91 laps of running with a number of developments the Lotus F1 team are hoping to bring into race usage. There was an embarrassing moment for Valsecchi however, having experienced a radio failure he failed to notice, numerous times, a pit board asking him to pit.
He beat out Jota ELMS driver and McLaren testing regular Oliver Turvey who led the Woking team through a fairly standard day of testing.
Force India also had a good day with their young gun, Paul Di Resta stuck to just testing new Pirelli rubber because of F1 experience finished 14th behind Will Stevens in the Caterham – the second Force India driver James Calado, testing new developments, finished sixth.
Calado, racing in GP2 for ART Grand Prix, said: “It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week. It’s another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn and so many names to remember! Yesterday was more about getting comfortable with the car and today I was able to do a bigger programme with some aero work.
“The team also gave me the chance to try some pit stop practice, which was good experience. As a British driver it has been amazing to drive a Formula One car at my home track – it’s certainly a memory that will stay with me.”
The day saw relatively little drama – only three stoppages were recorded through the course of the day. Ricciardo and Robin Frijns both span at different points on track and one red flag was shown to clear debris on track.