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"Ridiculous" Red Bull leaves Vips with "massive smile"

"Ridiculous" Red Bull leaves Vips with "massive smile"

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"Ridiculous" Red Bull leaves Vips with "massive smile"

"Ridiculous" Red Bull leaves Vips with "massive smile"

Jüri Vips has hailed this season's Red Bull as "ridiculous" after savouring his first serious Formula 1 test.

The 20-year-old Estonian, who is one of the team's official test and reserve drivers, enjoyed 101 laps in the RB16 in the young driver test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday.

It was Vips' debut taste of a hybrid car after previously only driving an RB8 at a wet Silverstone in November in order to cover the 300 kilometres required to obtain his super licence.

Following a run out in a car that carried Max Verstappen to two race wins and third in the drivers' championship over the past few months, Vips said: “It’s just a shame the test ended.

"I had a massive smile on my face the whole day. The car definitely lives up to the expectations.

"I was a little bit worried 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!"

As to when he will be back in the car, he added: "I don’t know, I need to talk to Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner] but if it was up to me, I’d be driving it every day!”

Explaining the purpose of the test for a driver like Vips, and for fellow test and reserve partner Sebastien Buemi, in relation to their work behind the scenes, head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin said: "It was all about bringing our reserve drivers up to speed so that they are familiar with the car’s performance.

“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.”

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