Three days of testing at Paul Ricard
Ocean Racing Technology often finished among the top drivers on the timing sheets at the final test of the GP2 series at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France last week.
Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa tested for the last two days and despite his lack of experience with the single-seater and the team, the driver from Lisbon finished the two meetings in the top 5, just one or two tenths off the best performance of the day. In addition to da Costa, Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes' team entrusted the wheel of their single-seaters to Christian Vietoris, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Rodolfo Gonzalez and Charles Pic with da Costa and Vietoris on track for the third and final day. The German, who won the second race of Abu Dhabi recently with the DAMS team secured the 7th best time overall. On day two, da Costa was joined by Belgian racer Jerome d'Ambrosio, runner up in the GP2 Asia Series in 2008, who also secured the 7th best time of his session. Rodolfo Gonzalez and Charles Pic took the wheel on the opening day, which was devoted to finding a good set up for the French track.
Antonio Felix da Costa's performances during his time with the team made a very strong impression with the bosses of Ocean Racing Technology as well as many others in the GP2 paddock. The young driver showed excellent adaptation to the single-seater as well as showing some very promising speed.
"It was very positive. The GP2 car is very different to all the others I have driven so far and to clock the 5th fastest time in both the sessions I took the wheel is really satisfying. I really appreciated the team's feedback and comments. I ended testing with the fastest first sector time but I have to admit I need a bit more confidence in order to take risks in the second sector," Antonio Felix da Costa explained. "After this test, it is quite clear that the GP2 Series is my aim but now I have to gather all the guarantees in order to drive in the best conditions as well as the team which would be interested in my application."
Tiago Monteiro is also very satisfied with the data gathered in France, and in particular with the work and the performances of his young compatriot, not just on the track but also in his approach to motor racing and his feedback with the members of Ocean Racing Technology."These three days have been very productive for the team and the performance was there too, which adds to the pleasure. The main target was hit because we discovered new talents and confirmed some others. We'll have to make our choice in regard to drivers who have great potential," said Tiago Monteiro.
Jose Guedes has also underlined the great quality of the work carried out by the entire team, from the technicians to the five drivers tested by Ocean Racing Technology. "We're done with the testing and discovering phase and it has been a very beneficial one for Ocean Racing Technology. It allowed us to gather a lot of enriching data and to go on with the process that will see us select our drivers while also doing some fine tuning on the car. The drivers responded well to all the solicitations of the team and they all did a very good job," Jose Guedes assures.
Ocean Racing Technology will analyse the data recorded on the Paul Ricard circuit and will quickly make a decision in regard to the two drivers who will defend their colours in 2010.