Daniel Ricciardo plays down spin in Silverstone testing

Daniel Ricciardo minimised the importance of an off-track moment on what was effectively an audition for a seat with Red Bull in 2014.

The Australian, who races for Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, lost the car at Silverstone's Luffield corner on his seventh lap of a test on Thursday.

"I had a small off, but otherwise it was a trouble-free day. The off was my mistake; I lost the rear," he said.

The 24-year-old added: "I drove to my ability and did what I could."

Ricciardo's stats and facts

  • Team: Toro Rosso
  • Team-mate: Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Born: 01/07/89, Perth
  • Grand prix debut: British Grand Prix 2011

A drive at Red Bull, one of the most coveted on the grid, is available following Mark Webber's decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of the year.

Ricciardo is one of two drivers in contention to be the team-mate of world champion Sebastian Vettel - the other being former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who drives for Lotus.

Ricciardo set the third-fastest time of the day in his afternoon's running in the Red Bull. He also set the quickest lap, behind the wheel of his regular Toro Rosso in the morning, when he was 0.215 seconds quicker than he was in the Red Bull.

The second-fastest driver was another Red Bull junior, Spaniard Carlos Sainz, also in the Toro Rosso.

Sainz, who races in the GP3 feeder series, took over the car from Ricciardo in the afternoon and was 0.044secs slower.

Ricciardo said: "It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts.

"In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there's still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I'll switch my focus back to that and won't get too caught up in any rumours."

Portuguese Antonio Felix Da Costa,  who races in the Formula Renault 3.5 series and is a possibility for a seat at Toro Rosso next season, drove the Red Bull in the morning and was 0.771secs slower than Ricciardo managed later on.

Daniel Ricciardo

Australian Daniel Ricciardo is one of two contenders for a Red Bull seat in 2014

The headline lap times are not necessarily an accurate comparison of relative pace because it is impossible to know the specifications in which the teams run the cars, with fuel loads, tyre choice and a number of other factors all having a significant effect on performance.

The 'young-driver' test has that name because rules state only drivers who have competed in no more than two grands prix may take part.

However, it is a misnomer this year because race drivers have been allowed to feature, under strictly controlled conditions, so they can try out a new type of tyre introduced by supplier Pirelli.

The Italian company has changed the design of the tyre in an attempt to prevent the multiple blow-outs that were experienced at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last month.

So far at the test there have been no problems with the tyres, which are being used by all drivers.

Among the hopefuls to get an outing in a Formula 1 car were Britons James Calado, who races in GP2, and Oliver Turvey, a McLaren test driver.

Calado set the sixth-fastest time of the day in his Force India.

He said: "It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week. It's another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn."

Turvey was just ahead of him in fifth place in the McLaren, in which Dane Kevin Magnussen set the fastest time of the first day of the test on Wednesday.