New GP2 entrant Team AirAsia took to the track for the first time in Abu Dhabi today, at the first official test of the GP2 Asia Series 2011. Both test drivers, Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi, were first out on the dusty track, running on new Pirelli tyres. Valsecchi completed two installation laps, and Luiz Razia four laps, before the session was stopped early following a sand storm. In the afternoon session, Razia was once again the first out, for the later session, this time in wet conditions, completing a total of 40 laps, with a best time of 1:51.49. Davide, who ran later in the session on a dry track, recorded a time of 1:51.01 and completed a total of 24 laps.
Testing resumes Thursday 3rd February - 09:00 -12:00 & 14:00 -- 17:00 (local time +4hrs GMT).
Team Manager Phill Spencer; "I'm very pleased with how it all went today. The weather played a big part today, with a lot of sand on the track this morning and then rain at lunchtime, which actually cleaned the track and helped this afternoon. We worked through the plans with aero-testing this morning and making sure both drivers were comfortable in the car and with the engineers and ccrew. So all in all we had a very productive day. We were not necessarily the quickest out there, but we learnt a lot. I'm really pleased with how it all looked too. The cars, the presentation of the garage, and how everyone in the team performed."
Humphrey Corbett, Chief Engineer, "I am very pleased with how today went, we couldn't have asked for a better day! The cars went famously, we might have had a few minor issues but the drivers are happy, and nothing went drastically wrong, so we are very pleased indeed. We decided to save our tyres for tomorrow whereas most teams ran new tyres towards the end of the session, and we will find out a little more about just how quick the car is tomorrow. But the drivers did a fantastic job, so all in all a good day!"
Davide Valsecchi; "The condition of the track today wasn't great, I think it was dirtier than normal - they tried to clean it for the afternoon session, which helped, but then it started to rain, so we lost two and a half hours waiting for it to dry out. In the end we had the last two hours to work with, and we weren't perfect but the car and seat are new and the conditions tricky, so it was hard to bring the car to the limit. Tomorrow we will look after the performance and see where we are standing at the end of the day."
Luiz Razia "This is a great track to test at, although this morning the conditions were quite difficult. Early on we were concentrating on doing some straight runs and collecting data. In the afternoon we focused more on performance, but we still have a lot of things to try, especially with a new car on new tyres. The end part of the day wasn't so great, but we have a lot of information that we will now analyse so we can be ready for tomorrow."