Motorsports Mondial

Photo: caterhamf1

Caterham completes day two of testing at Barcelona.

Vitaly Petrov: “I think that was a pretty positive day. We completed 69 laps and got through most of what we had planned. This morning we had a couple of issues with the seating position and the brakes, but you expect that from a new car and they were little things that we were able to fix quickly. In the afternoon we put in a few more long runs and that’ll give us a lot of data to work on tonight and I think tomorrow it will be more of the same.

“Physically I feel really good. It’s obviously been a while since I’ve been in a car, but I’ve kept up my fitness levels and I enjoyed myself on track, so it’s a good first day back. One thing I have noticed is that this car behaves a little differently from my previous experience and I think I may have to adjust my driving style to get the best out of it – I’ve been quite aggressive before, but I think this car responds better to smoother inputs, so that’s something I can work on, and work with the engineers on. Let’s see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A very reasonable first day with Vitaly in the car. We spent some time this morning getting him acclimatised, focusing particularly on the brakes, but he has settled in well and did exactly what we asked of him today. We have a few points to work on tonight, one of those being to understand how to give him a setup he feels most comfortable with, so tomorrow we expect to be able to continue to progress when he’s back on track for the second day.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham Group Chief Executive Officer: “A good way to introduce Vitaly to the team on track. He acquitted himself well today, putting in a decent number of laps and working well with us to fine-tune the basic setups we need to give him so he’s comfortable in the cockpit. As first days go this was pretty much faultless, and that’s exactly what we wanted from him.”

Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio quickest in day two of testing in Portugal.

Finnish driver Aaro Vainio ended the first official GP3 Series pre-season Test as fastest man on day two in Estoril. His best laptime was one second quicker than the benchmark set by Nico Muller yesterday. Vainio had been within the top four quickest drivers on day one and continued his good form into the second day. After heading the morning timesheets, Vanio remained unchallenged for the rest of the day.

It was another glorious day at the Circuito do Estoril for the second and final day of testing for GP3 Series. The early morning pace setter was Mitch Evans, until Vainio claimed control of the session after around thirty minutes. The Finn remained top of the standings. Seven drivers broke into the 1’30s barrier, making a significant improvement on the times set on day one.

Antonio Felix Da Costa was hot on the tails of Vainio’s best efforts and was closely followed by Evans and Conor Daly. Cypriot driver Tio Ellinas then produced a fine effort to shoot up to second fastest and the Marussia Manor Racing star maintained his second quickest time, less than a tenth behind the Lotus GP driver.

Hungarian Tamas Pal Kiss repeated his day one form with the sixth fastest lap, whilst Patric Niederhauser made massive steps from his best of 16th on day one, to seventh at the close of the morning session. All three Jenzer Motorsport drivers completed times within the top ten, with Mathéo Tuscher the 15 year old, again impressing with the eighth fastest lap ahead of Robert Visoiu in tenth. German driver Daniel Abt in the Lotus GP split the Jenzer Motorsport drivers posting the ninth fastest time.

The session was briefly red flagged twice when new recruit to GP3 Series, Vicky Piria, spun and stopped on the circuit after testing the limits whilst getting to grips with her second time testing for Trident Racing.

The afternoon session was eerily quiet for the first hour and then the action began to hot up. Matias Laine took control and was joined by Da Costa at the top of the timesheets. Micki Weckstrom then snuck into second position. Within the last hour Ellinas jumped from third to first while Swiss driver Niederhauser progressed to second.

Da Costa was third with Marlon Stockinger for Status Grand Prix in fourth. Laine, Kiss and Weckstrom were next in fifth, sixth and seventh. Italian David Fumanelli was eighth fastest ahead of Evans and Nico Müller. Times were around a second slower compared to the morning session.