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Duo up pace, but Ricciardo stays top | Planet F1 | Formula One | News, Standings, Results, Features, Video

Duo up pace, but Ricciardo stays top
Wednesday 17th November 2010

Jerome D'Ambrosio from Renault and Mercedes' Sam Bird threatened to upstage Daniel Ricciardo, but the Red Bull driver hit back to finish the rookie session with the best time...

Ricciardo dominated proceedings on the opening day and in the morning session on Wednesday, but D'Ambrosio and Bird gave him a run for his money late in the afternoon after posting a 1:38.802 and a 1:39.220 respectively.

However, Australian Ricciardo wasn't to be outdone and recorded a blistering 1:38.340 in the final hour. His time would've been good enough for pole position in Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP as Sebastian Vettel's qualifying time was 1:39.394.

Gary Paffett from McLaren and Ferrari's Jules Bianchi were the only two other drivers to dip under the 1:40 mark.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne had to be content with the 1:40.974 he posted early in the day. Vergne left two hours before the end as he had to rush off to Macau for the Formula 3 on Thursday morning.

"These have been two special days for me, having my first drive in a Formula 1 car," Vergne said. "My first run yesterday is something I will remember, with the high speeds being particularly impressive, especially through the corners thanks to the amount of aero downforce you have. It took me a couple of runs to adapt to my new surroundings before we actually started working through a test programme aimed at next year's car. I was pleased that the first day also went well from my side in that I did not go off the track and there were no difficulties with my physical condition.

"I also got to do a long run which was an interesting experience, driving with such a heavy fuel load on board. Today, we did some set-up work, so that I could begin to experience the basic mechanism of how set-up changes affect the car. There is a lot to think about, with so much information to take on board, much more than I am used to and another aspect that felt strange at first was driving with the power steering."

The final few hours was a stop-start affair as three red flags were brought out to go with the two in the morning session. Hispania's Davide Valsecchi, Pastor Maldonado from Williams and Yelmer Buurman in a Force India all brought procedings to a halt at some stage in the afternoon.

Unofficial times
1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull RB6 1:38.102 77 laps
2. Jerome d'Ambrosio Renault R30 1:38.802 83 laps
3. Sam Bird Mercedes GP W01 1:39.220 82 laps
4. Gary Paffett McLaren MP4-25 1:39.760 84 laps
5. Jules Bianchi Ferrari F10 1:39.916 93 laps
6. Sergio Perez Sauber C29 1:40.543 91 laps
7. Paul di Resta Force India VJM-03 1:40.901 27 laps
8. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW28 1:40.944 81 laps
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR5 1:40.974 61 laps
10. Yelmer Buurman Force India VJM-03 1:41.178 67 laps
11. Davide Valsecchi Hispania F110 1:43.013 32 laps
12. Liuz Razia Virgin Racing VR-01 1:43.525 70 laps
13. Josef Kral Hispania F110 1:44.143 61 laps
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus F1 T127 1:44.312 41 laps
15. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Lotus F1 T127 1:45.723 49 laps

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