The final pre-season GP3 Series test has been completed this week following two days of running at a very cold Silverstone. For Carlin drivers Nick Yelloly, Eric Lichtenstein and Luis Sa Silva the test signals the final on-track running before the season gets underway in Barcelona next month.
The cold conditions over the course of the two day test ensured that track running was limited. Despite the cold weather and snow flurries all three Carlin men had a positive test – focusing on learning the 2013 GP3 car, completing practice starts while also simulating qualifying and race runs throughout both days of testing.
Having set the third quickest time in yesterday afternoon’s session Yelloly said, ‘It’s difficult to gauge where you are in such cold conditions because you can’t really feel the grip in the tyres. However yesterday, when it was a little warmer, we had really good qualifying and race pace so I definitely think we’re looking strong for the first round of the season.’
Eric Lichtenstein added, ‘We’ve spent the test continuing to learn. GP3 is a completely different level of car than I’ve driven in the past so with every test it feels as though I’m developing further. It was difficult today because the wind direction kept changing so pinning down the set-up was tough. But we have a lot of great data ready for the first round in Spain and that’s what matters.’
Luis Sa Silva commented, ‘These past two days have been so cold! I’m really not used to this type of weather. The first day of testing was quite difficult for me; I span on my new tyres and then lost a lot of running in the afternoon as a result. The second day was a lot better though; we did a lot of practice starts which all look good, and our race pace is also looking solid. Really, the biggest thing for me to learn has been the tyres because the ones I’ve raced on in the past have gone on and on. However the Pirelli tyres are completely different – you really have to manage them which adds another dimension to a race weekend.’
The first round of the season gets underway 10th-13th May in Barcelona.
Photo by Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.