Silverstone testing times: Day 1

Felipe Massa topped the first day of F1 testing at Silverstone, the Brazilian was 0.006 quicker than Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo with championship leader Nico Rosberg third fastest three tenths slower than the front duo.

Adrian Sutil would manage 73 laps with his fastest good enough for 4th place, Marussia completed the most mileage today with Jules Bianchi setting 108 laps and posting the 5th quickest time.

Stoffel Vandoorne took up his role as test driver for McLaren and produced 71 laps and would end the day in 6th ahead of regular race drivers, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Jean Eric Vergne who in his Toro Rosso was only able to lap the track 28 times and the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.

Pedro de La Rosa filled in for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari and it took a long time to get up to speed, he would be second slowest but just in front of young British hopeful Will Stevens in his Caterham.

Testing continues tomorrow.

Day 1 Times

1. Massa – Williams – 1:35.242 – 42 laps
2. Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:35.248 – 72 laps
3. Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:35.573 – 90 laps
4. Sutil – Sauber – 1:35.674 – 73 laps
5. Bianchi – Marussia – 1:36.148 – 108 laps
6. Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:36.148 – 71 laps
7. Perez – Force India – 1:36.583 – 79 laps
8. Vergne – Toro Rosso – 1:36.688 – 28 laps
9. Maldonado – Lotus, 1:37.131 – 97 laps
10. De La Rosa – Ferrari, 1:37.988 – 49 laps
11. Stevens – Caterham, 1:40.627 – 95 laps

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Q&A with Will Stevens

Today sees the latest instalment of my Q&A pieces with racing drivers, I really love doing this because it gives us all an idea of what life is like for a driver and hopefully there should be a few more drivers involved, This time we speak to Will Stevens, Will has been racing for the past few years in FR3.5 and is part of the Caterham F1 Driver Academy, as he is still only 22 he has age and of course the ability on his side we shouldn’t be surprised if he reaches F1 in the future. Hope you all enjoy.

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Q1. Can you just tell us a little about your earliest memory of motorsport?
Will Stevens – My earliest memories were that my father raced in the Ferrari Challenge in the late 90’s for a few years and we used to go away as a family to those events which was really good. Through that I got introduced to karting by the guy who ran a Ferrari Challenge team at the time.

Q2. When did you first get involved in racing?
WS – I started racing at kart club meetings in 2002 at places like, Shenington, Buckmore Park, PFI and Wigan. We were racing almost every weekend somewhere and even from those early days I really knew that racing was what I wanted to do as a career.

Q3. What advice would you have for anyone thinking of starting a career in motorsport?
WS – I think I’d say, start out by simply doing it for fun and enjoyment. Don’t take it too seriously too early and learn as much as possible. When you think you understand it sufficiently to know if you want to progress and make what is a big commitment and of course you need the necessary backing financially, then make a plan and go about it in a balanced way.

Q4. So far in your career, what has been your best race and why?
WS – I’d say my best race was probably the second round of World Series by Renault 3.5 in Motorland Aragon in 2013. I didn’t qualify that well for the first race as qualifying was mixed up by the weather and I started P11. Our race pace was just great and I climbed to P2 with a succession of good overtaking moves. Also, back in 2007, qualifying pole, winning every heat and both finals at the European Karting Championships in 2007 was a pretty special weekend!

Q5. Do you have a favourite track that you particularly like for any reasons?
WS – I think for any driver that has raced on the iconic circuits then the answer would be the same, Monaco, Spa and Monza! The history of those tracks and the challenge they still present put them above the more modern tracks. If I had to go with one of those I’d say Monaco. I love a street circuit as ultimately it is the biggest challenge to a driver.

Q6. If you weren’t a racing driver, what would you be doing?
WS – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now but if I had to choose an alternative, I’d be a professional golfer. I’m working on my game!! If I had to choose a non-sport profession, I think I’d like to be an architect.

Q7. Who is the best driver you’ve raced against?
WS – Throughout my career I’ve raced against most of the top juniors, a couple of whom are now in F1 and a number, like myself on the verge of F1 in various roles. Again if I had to choose one, I’d say Kevin Magnussen. We were team mates in our first year in World Series and I raced against him in different teams in 2013. Our race at Barcelona in 2013 in the last round was close and I’d like to think I gave him a hard time especially in race 1. He’s obviously now at McLaren and I hope to race against him in F1 next year.

Q8. Away from racing for a minute, do you like any other sports, if so who do you support?
WS – I’m a very keen golfer and I’m an Arsenal fan.

Q9. Do you do much in your spare time away from the track?
WS – My career is very important to me so away from the track I still have a lot to do in motorsport. I have commitments at Caterham F1, like simulator work, as part of my participation in their Racing Academy and I spend a lot of time working on my fitness. I try to play golf as often as I can and find time to relax and spend time with my friends and family.

Q10. As a racing driver you must visit all sorts of places, anywhere particular that stood out for you?
WS – I’m very lucky that I get to travel a lot and go to a lot of great places. I don’t always get time to spend a lot of time away from the track as race weekends are pretty full on but I always try to enjoy the cities I go to. This year will be my third year racing at Monaco and that is the place that really stands out. The atmosphere on the GP weekend is something really special.

Q11. Finally, What are your targets for this season and also for the future?
WS – My sole objective for 2014 is to win the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship. My longer term objective is F1 and hopefully I can make that a reality in 2015.

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I would like to thank Will and his management for getting back to me with answers and wish him the best of luck in 2014.

Will’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/WillStevens_

Will’s Website – http://www.willstevens.co.uk/