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As is often the case when a driver pilots a Formula 1 car for the first time, braking force made the biggest impression on Robin Frijns. The Dutchman drove for Sauber in Tuesday’s Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi and will be on-track with Red Bull later in the week. In a frank reaction, he admits that his level of fitness must now be improved.
“Gosh! That was hard work!” said the 21-year-old from Maastricht. “Not at the beginning but then, suddenly I felt it - especially from the brakes. I am really tired now and know I have to go and exercise more. In the morning we started with installation laps, so that I could get used to the car and the steering wheel, which isn’t that easy.
“In the afternoon I found it hard to understand the tyre compounds. I had only driven on Michelins before and with the Pirelli Medium and Soft compounds it was difficult for me after only one lap. I had the feeling that, the more careful I handled them, the worse it became. There is obviously a lot to learn.
“On my fastest lap with the Soft tyres I made a mistake, so there was more to come. The team did a great job during the day and I want to thank them for that.”
For the record, Frijns ended the day fourth as Dane Kevin Magnussen topped the timesheets for McLaren. Car setups and fuel loads remain very much unknown.
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