ART Grand Prix driver ends final pre-season test day at the top of the timesheets
James Calado concluded his week’s work in the best possible way. Lasts season’s best rookie was quickest today at Circuito de Jerez with a laptime of 1:24.659 set this afternoon. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs set the best laptime in the morning for newcomers MP Motorsport.
The final day of GP2 Series testing in Jerez started in a different setting as overnight rain dampened the circuit. When the pitlane opened, most drivers opted to feed to the track on wet weather tyres. The sun was quick to make a welcome appearance though. Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, but as the track dried up and drivers switched to hard or medium compounds, the laptimes improved slowly. It was a trouble free session bar a short red flag, courtesy of Cecotto who stopped on track. Stéphane Richelmi was the first man to dip under 1m28s, but his teammate Marcus Ericsson claimed the top spot as the session entered into its final hour.
In the closing minutes, the proceedings were briefly halted after Jolyon Palmer stopped his Carlin car on track. At the restart, Quaife-Hobbs snatched the top spot from Ericsson. Richelmi also improved on his teammate’s best laptime to finish P2. Behind the DAMS duo, the top ten was completed by Daniel de Jong, Felipe Nasr, Robin Frijns, Simon Trummer, Stefano Coletti, Nathanaël Berthon and Mitch Evans.
After a short one hour lunch break, everyone took advantage of a dry track to do more race simulations and pit stop practices. The session ran smoothly with James Calado taking control of the timesheets towards mid-session, breaking the 1m25s barrier. His laptime of 1:24.659 was enough to have him sit pretty on top until the chequered flag. Behind the Brit, Trummer, Fabio Leimer, Coletti, Richelmi, Ericsson, Palmer, Evans, Julian Leal and Kevin Giovesi completed the top ten. The session was briefly red flagged with ten minutes left on the clock as Evans stopped on the track.
The teams will now make their way to Barcelona and set up camp at Circuit de Catalunya where the second and final pre-season test session will take place next week on March 5th, 6th and 7th.
|1.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||1:26.442||28|
|4.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:27.025||32|
|6.||Robin Frijns||Trident Racing||1:27.156||12|
|9.||Nathanaël Berthon||Trident Racing||1:27.514||10|
|10.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:27.560||18|
|11.||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:27.846||16|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:28.379||21|
|14.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:28.489||15|
|15.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:29.147||13|
|16.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:29.303||23|
|17.||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||1:29.303||23|
|18.||Ma Qing Hua||Caterham Racing||1:30.372||23|
|19.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:48.064||12|
|20.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:56.592||12|
|21.||Tom Dillmann||Hilmer Motorsport||2:04.851||1|
|22.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||—||6|
|23.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||—||1|
|1.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:24.659||54|
|3.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:25.133||27|
|8.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:25.309||41|
|9.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:25.318||44|
|10.||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:25.497||40|
|11.||Robin Frijns||Trident Racing||1:25.572||23|
|12.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:25.695||56|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:25.829||37|
|14.||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||1:25.833||47|
|15.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:25.862||17|
|17.||Ma Qing Hua||Caterham Racing||1:25.896||43|
|18.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport`||1:25.959||31|
|19.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||1:26.031||39|
|20.||Nathanaël Berthon||Trident Racing||1:26.049||21|
|21.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:26.133||43|
|22.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:26.767||38|
source: GP2 Series
Racing Engineering completes a successful three days of testing at Jerez.
Tuesday, the first day of testing, saw the GP2 teams greeted by cold weather for the morning session and after running an installation lap the drivers stayed in the pits waiting for the temperature to improve a little.
Racing Engineering elected to use the session to concentrate on Julián Leal who was having his first outing for the Spanish team and, despite the session being red-flagged three times, the young Colombian set the 13th fastest time with a 1:26.209s lap. Using his familiarity with the team Fabio Leimer, who had spent time being made comfortable in the car, completed just 8 laps to be 11th fastest with a time of 1:26.066s.
After a two hour lunch break the afternoon session began with many teams opting to run race distances. Fabio was immediately on the pace and for most of the three hours he was the fastest man on track and by the chequered flag he took the second fastest lap of the day with a time of 1:25.248s. Julián continued to get used to driving the Racing Engineering Dallara and he finished the session just a second behind Fabio in 16th place with a best lap of 1:26.222s.
Wednesday morning was similar to the day before with sunny skies but low temperatures. Four red flags during the session made it difficult for drivers to get into a rhythm and at the finish Fabio, after completing 28 laps, finished 4th with a best lap of 1:24.534s whilst Julián was once again less than a second behind his teammate with a time of 1:25.486s in 32 laps.
The skies turned grey in the afternoon with cooler temperatures and the Racing Engineering team concentrated on running race distances making lap times largely meaningless. At the end of the session Julián completed 43 laps with a fastest lap of 1:28.793s, Fabio was right behind him with a best time of 1:29.189s after running for 38 laps.
The final day of testing, Thursday, saw the morning session affected by overnight rain which left the track slippery and lap times were some two seconds slower than before. As a result of the conditions the Racing Engineering decided there was no point in running either driver.
Conditions were much better in the afternoon and both Fabio and Julián were setting some very competitive times and at the end of the session Fabio was 3rd fastest with a lap of 1:25.133s and Julián was less than 0.2 seconds slower in 9th with a best time of 1:25.318s
With both drivers finishing in the top ten in the final session Racing Engineering can return to their base in Sanlúcar de Barrameda confident of a job well done. The final pre-season test commences at Barcelona on the 5th March and will, once again, last for three days.
Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:
“We had three very positive days of testing in Jerez. As was expected, the temperatures during these three days were low, especially compared to what we normally encounter during the season. But it was interesting to test the new Pirelli tyres and to get to know Julian on track as it was the first time he has driven our car. Generally, everything went really well, we had no issues on the cars and were able to work through our intense test plan. There is a lot of work now to analyse the information obtained. But looking at the season, things look quite promising, even though the package of car and tyres will be challenging for everyone.”
“I am quite happy with these three days of testing. Today it was a little bit chilly in the morning as it rained during the night, so we only went out on the track in the afternoon. Nevertheless we tried many different things today, but also in general during the three days. We gained a lot of interesting information about the car and tyres. So I think we are in a very good place for next week’s test in Barcelona, where we can test even more things as we also have a race on that track. So, overall, I am very happy with these test days. It went better than I expected and I think this is promising for the future.”
“I think these three days of testing were really positive. At the very beginning we worked on different set ups of the car and, together with my engineer, we adapted the car more and more to my driving style. In the end we found a very good solution. During the three days we improved the car and prepared it more and more to make me feel comfortable. I am happy, as the race simulation went very well as well and we were good at managing the tyres, I think this is quite positive as well. In Barcelona we will continue working from this base and the test there will be very important as it’s a track we race on later this year. I like the track and I am happy as we had good results in Jerez and know there are still areas where we can improve.”
T01 Jerez – Day 3
Circuito de Jerez, Spain, Thursday 28th February 2013
Drivers: Ma Qing Hua & Sergio Canamasas
The final day of testing in Jerez passed without incident and provided crucial running time for the drivers and data for Caterham Racing.
Heavy overnight rainfall and cloud cover made early morning track conditions greasy and unpredictable. Caterham Racing, along with the majority of the teams taking part, used the early part of the session to practice pit stops and race starts rather than pushing for times.
Both Canamasas and Ma took to the track mid-morning, raring to go and keen to make the most of the final day of testing. Both drivers worked on race simulation runs to understand more about the tyre degradation, providing Ma with a chance to really get to grips with the GP2 car.
The afternoon provided changeable weather conditions, with a mixture of sunshine and showers. Finding space on track amongst the traffic was crucial during dry periods and both drivers coped well.
Canamasas and Ma concluded the final session 14th (1:25.833) and 17th (1:25.896) respectively.
The team now look ahead to the second official GP2 test of the season in Barcelona on 5th, 6th, 7th March, with the driver line-up to be announced in due course.
Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am really pleased with the entire test programme and it has exceeded our expectations. We have learnt so much about the tyres and despite the inclement weather today I feel happy with the end result. The crew had a chance to perfect their pit stop technique this morning and we have blown away any cobwebs. All in all I am very pleased with the performance of both the team and drivers and we will have news on our driver line-up very shortly.”
Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “I have mixed feelings following the test. We completed most of our work, despite Sergio’s accident on day one. The tyres this year are all of new construction and they are a totally different animal from last year. We have made good progress and have direction, but require further analysis between now and Barcelona. We have been more focussed on gathering data than on performance during the last three days, but once we get to Barcelona we will concentrate on times and push ourselves higher up the table.”
“I have been very pleasantly surprised by both drivers, providing informative feedback and working well with the engineers. It would be a pleasure to work with either driver again.”
Sergio Canamasas: “Today was not the best day out of the three for times, but we have tried many different things with the car which is what testing is for. It has been constructive over the last three days but I feel we could get some more out of the car. The guys have worked well and I am happy with the team. I look forward and hope we can arrange something more for the future.”
Ma Qing Hua: “I had a good day today and it was great to do some long runs on both medium and hard tyres, as the feeling of the car changes so much. It has been very nice working with the team for the last three days and I have really enjoyed driving the GP2 car. For me this test has been about trying a new car, working with a new team and learning, for this the last three days have been successful.”
DAMS still at the front!
The winter hibernation is over for the GP2 Series! The 24 cars entered in the 2013 championship had a 3-day test on the Jerez circuit in Spain. DAMS the reigning double champions – 2012 teams’ and drivers’ titles – lived up to its reputation by always being among the front-runners in the first round of preparatory practice for the coming season.
As the French squad has a completely new driver line-up, its first job was to check that everything was working smoothly within the team itself and this aim was achieved. Marcus Ericsson and Stéphane Richelmi, the new recruits even though they had already tested with the team in 2012, found their marks almost immediately. Proof of this is the fact that over the three days they were never outside the top 6 and they set almost identical times.
In addition to experimenting and finding the best setups, DAMS was faced with another huge task, namely: getting to grips with the new hard and medium Pirelli tyres. They obviously managed to do so and they will continue in the same vein next week in the second session on the Montmelo circuit beside Barcelona. Overall, the DAMS squad is very satisfied with the results of the first 2013 test.
Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: “The return to the nitty-gritty has gone off very well. Our first aim was to help our drivers to get to know a new environment and this was achieved without a hitch. We also had a lot of technical work to be done on the setups and the new tyres. We had to accumulate the maximum possible amount of information, and we completed our programme very satisfactorily. Unlike Formula 1 the times are much more representative of the actual performances so it’s very encouraging to see that we’re still at the front. Marcus Ericsson showed that he has the speed we expected from him at this level. Stéphane Richelmi really surprised us by setting very quick and consistent times and this helped him set the fastest lap on the second day. The drivers already get on very well. The team’s working well together and that’s a good sign before the start of the season.”
Next tests: Barcelona (8-10 March)
First race: Malaysia (Sepang) 23-24 March