Kimiya Sato drove a Formula 1 car for the first time on the final day of the young driver test at Silverstone and said that nothing compares to it. The Auto GP front-runner was amazed by the speed and reaction of the car after completing 67 laps behind the wheel of the Sauber C32.
Sato’s best time was 2.7 seconds shy of Sebastian Vettel’s benchmark as he built his confidence up with the car. He conducted several trouble-free runs for the team as he became more comfortable and confident driving the car.
Speaking in a statement after the test he said: “I’m really amazed after driving a Formula One car for the first time. It’s so sharp and it reacts very quickly too, especially when steering and braking. It’s incredible. From a physical point of view, it’s also tough. I have raced in Silverstone before, so I do know the track well, but nothing compares to this. To drive here in a Formula One car feels completely different, and the speed is incredible.”
Breaking down the two sessions he revealed: “The morning was really good. In the afternoon I used a few new sets of tyres and tried to improve my lap times. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. The track conditions changed, the wind picked up and the circuit was generally slower. Driving a Formula One car today was really good, and I had a lot of fun. But the next step is to really work on improving my lap times.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering at Sauber, said the team “feel well prepared for the Budapest race” which is just over a week away. He also added that it is “always exciting being associated with a driver’s first day in a Formula One car” and added that he was impressed by Sato’s “mature approach to the day.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic