McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen set the pace on the opening day of Silverstone’s combined Young Driver and Pirelli tyre test on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Dane, whose father Jan made 25 Formula 1 starts in the 1990s, shot to the top of the order in the late afternoon on a set of Pirelli’s existing medium tyre.
Currently in his second Formula Renault 3.5 season after a two-year stint in Formula 3, Magnussen was pleased but eager not to overplay his strong start to the three-day Silverstone test.
“It’s always nice to see yourself in P1, but in a Formula 1 test we don’t know what fuel people are running, so it’s hard to compare yourself to people,” he said.
“But we have a pretty good idea of whether it was a good day or not – and I think it was a good day.”
Formula 1 regulars Paul di Resta (Force India) and Max Chilton (Marussia) were both on track evaluating revised Pirellis, setting the second and 12th quickest times respectively.
With the current drivers restricted to tyre testing, Red Bull Racing made a late decision to reshuffle its plans, bumping Mark Webber from its program.
Formula Renault 3.5 regular Antonio Felix da Costa ran the full day on Wednesday in the Red Bull, setting the third fastest time.
Daniel Ricciardo, who had been set to run during the afternoon, sat idle during the day, but will now steer both the Toro Rosso and Red Bull on Thursday.
Another Red Bull youngster, Carlos Sainz Jr, and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel will complete the three-day test by sharing the RB9 on Friday.
Another son-of-a-gun, Jonny Cecotto Jr, was at the wheel of the Toro Rosso on Wednesday, setting the sixth quickest time.
GP2 driver James Colado (Force India) and Daniel Juncadella (Williams) were fourth and fifth respectively, while the opening day field was completed by Robin Frigns (Sauber), Nicholas Prost (Lotus), Davide Rigon (Ferrari), Alexander Rossi (Caterham) and Tio Ellinas (Marussia).