Toro Rosso had Daniel Ricciardo in the car before noon, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr. Both drivers ended up extremely closely matched at the end of the day, with Ricciardo fastest of the day, 0.044s ahead of Sainz.
In the morning, Daniel Ricciardo was at the wheel, which meant that the Pirelli tyres, the Hard and Medium compounds were the focus of the team’s attention, running to a programme prescribed by the tyre supplier. The team worked methodically through all the planned tests. At lunchtime, having set what would be the fastest time of the day, Daniel had a quick change into Infiniti Red Bull Racing overalls for a run in the RBR 9.
For Carlos Sainz, this will be a day to remember, as the 18 year old Spaniard got his first taste of driving a Formula 1 car, when he took to the track in our car for the afternoon session. Because of his status as a “young driver” there were no restrictions relating to testing and the engineers were able to continue with the development programme initiated yesterday when Johnny Cecotto was driving. Sainz delivered a solid performance, completing a good number of laps, without making any mistakes, delivering plenty of useful data and producing respectable lap times.
Carlos Sainz: “First of all, I want to thank Red Bull and especially Toro Rosso for this opportunity. When I got out of the car at the end, I went round to every mechanic and said ‘thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life!’ Driving the car was an incredible feeling and this track helped, because if there is one circuit where you are really going to feel you are in a Formula 1 car, it’s Silverstone. As for my impressions of the car, everything about it was amazing, but if I had to pick on one aspect it would be the car’s agility and the way it can change direction at 300 km/h. That’s something I had never experienced before and it was the most impressive thing for me. Tomorrow, I will get the chance to drive the Infiniti Red Bull Racing car, but to start like this with Toro Rosso, which was not part of my plan for the year, makes this the best day and tomorrow, to sit in a world champion’s car thanks to Red Bull, who have supported me since I was fifteen, will I hope be just as good.”
Tomorrow, the final day of this session, Jean-Eric Vergne will drive in the morning, continuing the tyre evaluation work, before handing over to Daniil Kvyat for the afternoon.