Estoril SF01 test concludes The development programme of the SF01 continued for the final day at the Circuito do Estoril, Portugal. After two days of continual rain, the skies cleared and the sun came out but the track remained damp. This...
Estoril SF01 test concludes
The development programme of the SF01 continued for the final day at the Circuito do Estoril, Portugal. After two days of continual rain, the skies cleared and the sun came out but the track remained damp.
This morning, young Formula Superfund hopeful Alvaro Parente from Portugal got his first run in the new car. The 20 year old from Porto who has competed in British F3 and F3 Euroseries got behind the wheel and completed eight laps to give him a chance to gain first-hand experience of the new car.
Ex-BAR F1 test driver Patrick Le Marie took over from Parente to resume the development programme after his first outing in the SF01 yesterday. The programme was focussed on tyre development and compound assessment.
On his fourth lap, Le Marie donned dry tyres to evaluate their performance on the damp drying track but on the straight, he hit a wet patch and slid off into the tyre barrier causing some damage to the chassis. With only half a day remaining and unfavourable track conditions, the team took the decision to end the test programme to concentrate on repairs to the car in preparation for the next round of development.
"I've never driven a car as powerful as this so today has been a valuable experience for me. I'm used to Formula 3 so this has been a massive step forward. The power was amazing and I was also very impressed with the brakes and the paddle shifting. Unfortunately I wasn't able to push for a fast lap as the track was still very slippery but I'm just very happy to have been given this opportunity to drive such a fantastic car!"
Patrick Le Marie:
"Obviously I'm very disappointed with today's results. I went out on dry tyres after Alvaro as the track was drying off but on the straight line, I hit a wet patch at the braking point and went off into the barriers. At least this proves the car is very safe."
Martin Schneider, Head of Motorsport Development:
"The unfavourable weather conditions have really hindered our progress during this test in Estoril. We lost running completely on the first day and now have also lost time on the final day. On a positive note, we've made a lot of progress on the wet weather tyre assessment and also made large steps forward with the gearbox development programme. It was also a real challenge for the young drivers who tested with us in these conditions and they all performed very well. The car will now go back to England for some work before we schedule the next test."