Jimmy Eriksson took to the wheel of a GP3 car for the first time in his career as pre-season testing commenced at Estoril in Portugal this week.
The test took place in mixed weather conditions and saw all nine teams and a full 30 drivers in attendance. “It’s great to finally get the season underway and to have completed these opening three days of testing,” says Jimmy Eriksson.
“The GP3 car is massively fast and combines good straightline speed with an equal amount of performance in the corners, which – for me – is a very good sign of all-round quality.
It definitely requires a different driving style to the one I’m used to from Formula 3, but that’s only to be expected from a car which has almost twice the amount of power.
We certainly still have a lot of work to do, but I learned so much here this week and really achieved everything I wanted – which was to simply familiarise myself with the team, car and the GP3 concept.”
The Estoril test was affected by highly changeable weather, which saw the final two days being run on a partly dry, partly wet track.
While not ideal for teams seeking a basic understanding of the new GP3/13 machine, it did give the GP3 fraternity an early insight into how the car operates in less-than-perfect conditions.
“I think most people up and down the pitlane would have preferred for it to remain dry throughout all three days, but the weather at least gave us a chance to evaluate the car and its handling in the wet,” Eriksson concludes.
“Unfortunately, I went off just as the circuit started to dry out towards the end of the final day and missed out on the opportunity of posting a representative lap time, but what really matters is that we managed to identify some of the areas where we’re strong and some of the areas where we need to improve. I’m already looking forward to getting back behind the wheel in a couple of weeks’ time!”
The next GP3 pre-season test takes place on March 12-13 and will be staged at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona – the same venue which is set to host the first race of the season in conjunction with the Spanish Grand Prix on May 10-12.
Jimmy Eriksson Racing