TESTING AT PAUL RICARD MARCH 8TH - 10TH
The Art Grand Prix team took part in the GP2 testing session organised at the High Tech Test Track at the Paul Ricard circuit from March 8th until 10th.
Frederic Vasseur (General Director): The hierarchy determined by this week's testing does not reflect everybody's potential and not too much attention should be paid to the stopwatch; but of course I would have preferred to end the week amongst the 3 or top 4 teams rather than the bottom ones! We are trying to understand the car, tyres and general functioning of the package without necessarily trying to be competitive right from the beginning.
Drivers are enjoying the driving, which is a crucial point. The car is very elaborate and the tyres a real challenge. We have to really understand the car as there are two ways of looking at it: qualifying will be one thing, the car a completely different one. We are still getting to know the car and we have concentrated on reliability and consistence this week more than any other aspects. It is a positive outcome for more than one reason, for instance the drivers. Alexandre and Nico are as strong as each other, they get along very well and both give valuable feed-back to the engineers. They work as a team, which will be crucial on race weekends where we will need to be competitive from the start.
Alexandre Premat: I started driving on Tuesday, which turned out to be a very good working day. Everything went well and we improved despite the need for further investigation to fully understand the car. We managed to figure out a good set-up and I managed to get the third best time of the day. I am pleased with the work and progress even though small braking problems slowed us down on Wednesday. So we are going to work even more now to allow the next tests to be even more valuable. I can't wait!
Nico Rosberg: The tests have been difficult for me at the start because I had to watch Alex drive, which is always slightly frustrating! Alex did a really good job, which therefore allowed me to take over in good conditions. Our new engineer, Bruno, represents a very good asset and is fully part of the team. I really like the way engineers work, they are very precise; the programme is planned well ahead and unchanged throughout the day. I drove well from the beginning in the car, we made good progress in the afternoon and I am positive, even if I am aware of the important amount of work that needs to be done. I got the second best time on the last day, always a good sign.