SF01 continues development programme in Estoril Ex-BAR F1 test driver, Patrick Le Marie kicked off the development programme today as he took to the track in the SF01 at a rain-drenched Circuito do Estoril, Portugal. This is Le Marie's first...
SF01 continues development programme in Estoril
Ex-BAR F1 test driver, Patrick Le Marie kicked off the development programme today as he took to the track in the SF01 at a rain-drenched Circuito do Estoril, Portugal.
This is Le Marie's first time behind the wheel of the SF01 and he is the fifth driver with Formula One experience to test the car. The Frenchman ran in the morning session and as this was the first time the SF01 had run on a wet track, his extensive experience was invaluable in collecting set- up data for wet weather conditions. The development team also continued their gearbox mapping programme in preparation for the start of the Formula Superfund championship next May.
The afternoon session saw a continuation of the on-going assessment of young drivers for the new championship with a trio of 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 competitors behind the wheel of the new car.
Austrian driver Mathias Lauda took to the track first at the beginning of the afternoon session. He completed 13 laps before handing over to Nicky Pastorelli. The newly crowned 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 Champion ran for the same distance as the rain continued to fall. Runner-up Fabrizio Del Monte was the third and final driver of the session. He also managed 13 laps before the circuit closed.
The test programme will conclude tomorrow with Patrick Le Marie in action for the second time alongside 2004 EuroBOSS champion Scott Mansell, and young Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente.
Patrick Le Marie:
"From my experience, the SF01 combines all the positive features of both Formula One and CART. It has a good balance between tyres, aerodynamic design, engine specification and without traction control, it's a really, really fun car to drive! When the weather is as bad as this, it's always difficult to realise the full potential of a car but we've managed to get through a lot of work on the gearbox systems today and collect valuable data for the on-going development programme. I'm hoping we'll get a dry spell tomorrow so we can move on with the tyre testing programme."
"The SF01 has exceeded all my expectations! The power is exceptional and it's definitely a huge step up from anything I've driven before in F3000. The rain meant we weren't able to push the car to the limit as the track was very slippery so I can't wait to see what the car really has to offer."
"Everything about the new car is impressive! The big difference is the engine and you can really feel the power going into the faster corners. The brakes are also very powerful and even in these wet conditions, the car was really exciting to drive. The SF01 is a fantastic car because it's very quick and yet not too difficult to drive so it'll be good training for Formula One".
Fabrizio Del Monte:
"I'd like to thank Formula Superfund for the opportunity to drive the SF01 as this was a fantastic experience for me! I drove the Minardi F1 car last year and the cars feel very similar in terms of power and braking. It's amazing how powerful the SF01 is! Hopefully I'll get the chance to drive the car again in the Formula Superfund championship next year."