Testing times for F1's young hopefuls

Paul Di Resta was one of the Young Drivers Tests' success stories.  Pic: Nigel Roddis/Reuters
Paul Di Resta was one of the Young Drivers Tests' success stories. Pic: Nigel Roddis/Reuters

The Young Drivers Test began in Abu Dhabi yesterday, where six teams are testing their cars with drivers currently not competing in F1. Here are the six drivers, who raced in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and who used the test as a stepping stone to F1...

1: Pastor Maldonado The only driver at present to have taken part in the Young Drivers Test and gone on to win a race. The Venezuelan drove for Williams in 2010 and graduated to a race seat for 2011 and won the Spanish Grand Prix in May with the team.

2: Sergio Perez Twenty-four months ago the Mexican was putting in the laps for Sauber at Yas Marina Circuit in the test. Two years on he is now preparing to challenge for race victories with McLaren-Mercedes to complete a rapid rise to the top.

3: Paul di Resta Appearances can be deceptive. The Briton was only eighth in the 2010 test, but his work behind the wheel for Force India persuaded them to move him up from reserve driver to race driver for 2011.

4: Daniel Ricciardo The Australian said he had felt under a lot of pressure when he drove the Red Bull Racing car at Yas Marina in 2010. Expected to be quickest in the fastest car in F1 that year he duly obliged, and he drove for HRT in 2011 before moving to Toro Rosso this season.

5: Jean-Eric Vergne The same story as Ricciardo in that going fastest in the Red Bull in 2011 opened doors for him and he was given the opportunity to race for Toro Rosso in 2012 to show what he could do in race conditions.

6: Charles Pic The quietly spoken Frenchman drove for Marussia at last year’s test, and he did enough for the team to ditch Jerome D’Ambrosio and give him a Formula One seat this year.

Published: November 7, 2012 04:00 AM