Young driver test kicks off at Jerez

Tue, 1 December 2009, 02:01

Dec.1 (GMM) On a clear and crisp morning at Jerez, F1’s ‘young driver’ formula one test kicked off.

With only rookies with less than three official F1 events under their belts eligible to drive, nine out of the ten teams that contested the 2009 world championship fielded single cars on the opening morning of the three-day session.

Toyota, having pulled out of formula one, are not present, but fellow withdrawing manufacturer BMW turned up at Jerez to honour its promise to Alexander Rossi and Esteban Gutierrez.

F2 driver Andy Soucek, wearing a specially liveried helmet in the blue and white colours of the team, was on the pace for Williams throughout Tuesday morning.

“I had forgotten just how fast these cars are,” the 24-year-old Spaniard enthused.

Ferrari, whose mechanics gathered in pitlane with a ‘Piccolo Felipe’ (little Felipe) sign to welcome Felipe Massa’s newborn son into the world, are running Jules Bianchi on Tuesday, while Belgian Bertrand Baguette rolled out of the Renault garage in the R29.

Antipodeans Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley had a difficult start to the day, both spinning in the same incident and needing to have their Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars returned to the pits on the backs of flat-bed trucks.

Force India’s Tuesday runner is the American JR Hildebrand, McLaren’s 28-year-old Gary Paffett is in action, and Indycar driver Mike Conway is driving the championship-winning Brawn.

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