Valtteri Bottas ended the first day of the F1 Young Driver test at Silverstone fastest in his Williams. This was no great surprise. The test was disrupted late in the day by rain, but Bottas was not going for quick times, but rather doing race simulations, which meant that by the end of the day he had completed an impressive 120 laps. His best lap was a 1m31.436s, which was set in the morning.
The others who were out were Marussia duo Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto. The pair compete in GP2 Series for the Marussia Carlin team and the young driver test is believed to be part of the package that was offered to them before the year began. Chilton ended up the faster of the two, but both were more than five seconds slower than Bottas’s best. Haryanto also did fewer laps.
Down at HRT there was a little history in the making as Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua had his first runs in an F1 car, becoming the first Chinese driver to drive a Formula 1 car at an official event. The Shanghai-born driver did 54 laps. and was 6.3 seconds slower than Bottas.