Red Bull handed one of their precious RB19s over to Formula E World Champion and junior driver Jake Dennis for a test day in Abu Dhabi.
Following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull entrusted one of their two RB19s to the reigning Formula E World Champion and long-time Red Bull sim/development driver Jake Dennis for their obligatory Young Driver running, after also fielding him in FP1 in place of Max Verstappen.
Dennis pumped in 124 laps of the Yas Marina circuit during the Young Driver test, finishing 14th overall on the timesheets as ‘teammate’ Sergio Perez finished fourth as the Mexican carried out Pirelli tyre testing in the other RB19.
Jake Dennis ‘enjoyed every lap’ behind the wheel of RB19
Dennis, who won the 2022/23 Formula E Championship with Andretti Global, spoke to media, including PlanetF1.com, following his test with F1’s most dominant car.
“A very special day for myself,” he summed up.
“In FP1, you sort of just jump in and try and survive whereas somewhere like today, you obviously can push the limits a little bit more and really understand the car.
“I think we did just that – we did 125 laps, we got a lot of data for the team between me and Checo [Perez] and, yeah, there are plenty of things to work on.
“Obviously, my role is a little bit different from Checo’s, but nevertheless, I think we’ve got a lot of correlation to take back to the simulator side and try and improve things further for the RB20 and, in general, development of the simulator side.
“I enjoyed every lap, enjoyed it all, it’s been a great day.”
Asked by PlanetF1.com if he could feel what made the RB19 so dominant, Dennis laughed.
“From my side, it’s obviously very difficult to feel that because I’m coming from somewhere like Formula E,” he said.
“So I think, even if I drove the worst car on the grid, it would feel pretty special!
“But nevertheless, I think the car is very sensitive to your inputs, it performs exactly what you want it to do.
“It’s just you just need a lot of driver confidence. Obviously, that’s something that you don’t quite get after coming from what I do, and then jumping in for just one day.
“It takes time to build that. But I mean, the car is a pleasure to drive, it’s something pretty special.”
Asked what he had learned about the car’s characteristics after his day behind the wheel, Dennis explained he had learned quite a bit about how the sim work he usually carried out correlates to the real-world driving of the RB19.
“It’s just more about pushing the car to the limits,” he said.
“In FP1, you don’t want to take that risk because Max obviously has to drive in FP2 whereas, today, you can understand a little bit more about the slip angle of the tyre, which is very important to the way it behaves in real life to the simulator.
“So it’s something which we need to try… we’re always evolving the tyre model and simulators. It’s something which we’ll improve on further.
“Just pushing an F1 car to the limit is very different to, say, just circulating in FP1, and not really knowing too much of what to expect. But I mean, yeah, I’m still far from the limit, I would say.
“But nevertheless, just gathering data was really the biggest thing.”