Aston Martin Red Bull Racing concluded the 2020 Formula One season with the post-season Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit. Unlike pre-season testing, the rules for today’s test permitted teams to run two cars, and any qualified driver who has not contested more than two Grands Prix in 2020. This allowed us to give Official Test and Reserve Drivers Jüri Vips and Sébastien Buemi mileage in the RB16.
Between them, Jüri and Sébastien completed 178 laps of the Yas Marina Circuit.
“Today was all about bringing our reserve drivers up to speed so that they are familiar with the car’s performance,” said Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering. “After completing a lot of laps, they can give us better feedback when they work on the simulator – and, of course, they’ll be prepared should they have to jump in the car in the future. This is why we work on things like ensuring they know start procedures, how we operate trackside, and what role everyone plays at Grands Prix.”
“Seb and Jüri pushed, and found the limits, which is good and what we wanted them to do. Now they both have a better understanding of what our car requires, what it really feels like and today was very useful for us all moving forwards.”
For Sébastien, a Formula E and double World Endurance Champion, this was a day to properly reacquaint himself with a modern Formula One car. “I very much enjoyed being back in the car and getting a proper day of running so that was cool,” he said. “It was good to do so many laps and I was happy to be back with the Team trackside. Hopefully we can now have a good debrief from today, see what we learned and take it over to the simulator.”
For Jüri it was the first chance to drive a hybrid F1 car, having previously only driven our RB8 at a wet Silverstone.
“It’s just a shame the test ended really – I had a massive smile on my face the whole day!” he said. “The car definitely lives up to the expectations. I was a little bit worried this morning about how it was going to be physically, especially about the neck, but we got through all of our programme: lots of mileage and I’m just very happy about the experience. Within two or three laps I felt confident in the car – it was very well balanced and it has a ridiculous amount of grip! When am I getting back in the car? I don’t know, I need to talk to Helmut and Christian – but if it was up to me, I’d be driving it every day!”
Driver: Jüri Vips and Sébastien Buemi
Laps: Jüri 101, Sébastien 77
Best time: Jüri 1:37.770, Sébastien 1:38.284
Circuit length: 5.554km