In his third Formula One test this year, Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy helped the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team complete an extensive testing evaluation, completing over 250km at Paul Ricard on Tuesday.
Just two days after the Spanish Grand Prix, all eleven Formula One teams took to the Circuit le Castellet circuit, near Marseille in southern France to prepare for the next week's Monaco Grand Prix.
As part of the team's continuing Young Driver Development Programme for the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team, Fairuz was the only one of the outfit's runners tasked with driving duties on Tuesday, completing 74 laps with a best time of 1m 09.43s. As well as evaluating brakes, Fairuz also trialled the soft Bridgestone Potenza rubber.
"I'm really happy with the test, it was very positive and showed how well myself and the team are working together," said Fairuz. "Running on the short and twisty circuit we ran with high downforce settings -- which is the optimum set-up for Monaco next week, plus engine mapping settings and new tyres."
"We managed to complete 266km, but a small mechanical problem prevented us from reaching the full target of 300km, but it didn't matter too much. It was fantastic to get back behind the wheel of a Formula One car again and I have to thank the Ethiad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team for this chance."
Running on the tight and twisty 2D-SC configuration circuit, Fairuz completed the 74 laps at the wheel of the V8-VII chassis. With warm, sunny conditions the only concern was the gusty north-westerly Mistral winds which caused the cars to move around on the main straight.
"I have never see it so windy before, there were some very strong gusts which unsettled the car -- so it was quite challenging. But it didn't affect the pace and with the long runs we were running quicker than the Toro Rosso, but on my best lap I had a problem with the throttle which meant the best time of the day was not reflective of what we could have achieved."
Dominic Harlow, chief race and test engineer for the Silverstone-based outfit explained the details of the test: "The day's programme concentrated on preparing for Monaco using the short track layout at Paul Ricard. Fairuz ran through a combination of set-up and brake system tests along with some set-up solutions appropriate to the demands of Monaco."
He added: "The windy conditions made performance testing tricky, but we were pleased with the progress especially considering that set-ups that work well in Monaco are not always what are needed for a fast lap time on the smoother track surface here. Overall we were pleased with how the first day went and Fairuz did a thorough job."
This is the third time Fairuz has tested for the team following his pre-season outings in Valencia and Barcelona and he has completed 978 km in F1 machinery so far in 2007.
Also the data that Fairuz was able to accumulate today will help his cause in the next round of the World Series by Renault which will also be on the streets of Monte Carlo which supports the F1 race next week.