Barcelona Test - Day 2
Two weeks after the Silverstone sessions, the GP2 runners tested on the Barcelona track in summer-like conditions. The DAMS team again confirmed its top-class form and its position as one of the favourites for the championship, which will kick off in just over two weeks.
The drivers and engineers had a huge programme awaiting them on the Montmelo circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team left the Spanish circuit in a satisfied frame of mind as it was able to sort out the setups, and it progressed in all the other areas it tackled whether pit stops or race simulations.
The gap between the teams was tiny, which points to a very closely-fought battle for championship honours. On Tuesday, Romain Grosjean set the fourth and fifth-quickest times, and on Wednesday morning he was third fastest confirming his position among the GP2 front-runners. On Wednesday afternoon, performance was not the team's aim.
Pal Varhaug continued his apprenticeship with assiduity and his twelfth time yesterday afternoon only 1 second off the quickest, is a sign of confidence and growing mastery. It is worth noting that the team's Barcelona test was not interrupted by either mechanical problems or accidents.
Loic David, General Manager: "I'm really satisfied with the work we've done in the two days. The team's made a lot of progress in the area of setups, and has also practised tyre changing. Romain was still at the top of the time sheets this morning, only three-thousandths of a second off the quickest time so the speed's there. This afternoon we also had a good session with a race simulation without any glitches. So you could say that we're really looking forward to the start of the season!"
Tuesday: morning P4 - afternoon P5
Wednesday: morning P3 - afternoon P14
"Another two days' productive work. We made good progress in all the setup options, so we're going to analyze all the data to be sure we've made the right choices. Our times this morning comfort us in the direction we're following. I'm also very happy with the job we've done in race and pit stop simulations, which went off without problems. I can't wait for Istanbul!"
Tuesday: morning P23 - afternoon P12
Wednesday: morning P18 - afternoon P16
"We've got through a lot of wok over the two days, and that's helped me to progress and prepare for the championship. The gaps between the teams are tiny, and I'm fairly happy with my twelfth-quickest time yesterday. It's also a good thing that we've done some pit stop practice. You have to concentrate on finding the right speed and stopping exactly on the right spot. It was a big help to me. I've still got a lot to learn and I'm impatient to prove my progress in the races."
Next rendezvous: The 1st championship race in Istanbul on 7th May.