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Apr 18, 2014 - 06:00 AM
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Ask Alex: Alex Lynn Blog, Barcelona GP3 Test
Posted by: newsla on Apr 18, 2014 - 05:59 AM
GP2 News
Ask Alex: Alex Lynn Blog, Barcelona GP3 Test


Well, that’s it for pre-season GP3 testing now. The last two-day test finished today at Barcelona and I think we were even more competitive than we were last week at Jerez.

 

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I said last week that the Barcelona test is the one that counts, because that’s where we have the first race weekend in three weeks’ time, so it was really important that we came here and were competitive out of the blocks. The car that the Carlin team gave me worked well straight away, and over the two days we were able to focus on things that will give me a competitive race weekend. It was job done really – we ticked all the boxes because we hit the ground running.

On the first morning we treated the start of the session like qualifying. At a GP3 meeting there’s not a lot of practice, and track conditions are always different to what you’ve had before, so you need to hit it hard straight away and be competitive. Also, that time of day is when qualifying is held, so it’s great to get an idea of where you stand.

So I wanted to make sure our first run on new tyres was on the money, which it was – I was P1 or P2 at the time I did it. Other drivers then put on a second set of new tyres and that bumped me down to fourth, but it wasn’t an issue really.

On the other hand, I had another set for the afternoon, where I went quickest. That was good, because it was what we were expecting really, as most of the big boys had used two sets in the morning.

The second morning was another qualifying warm-up and our pace was really good. I was third in the times, and felt there was a little bit more to come. I made a few little mistakes but fastest time was definitely do-able.

If you look at the positions from the last afternoon, you’ll see loads of front-running drivers well down the order – I was 20th, Nick Yelloly was 22nd and my team-mate Emil Bernstorff was 23rd. We were just doing race runs, while others went for shorter runs and some were on new tyres. To be honest our pace on race runs was pretty good – having said that, we’ll probably get thumped now!

That’s why testing is so important in GP3 – it’s not just getting qualifying pace right, it’s about practising for the races. We think our pace is good – we’re not worried about that – so it’s been valuable to focus on our weekend management, with the aim of getting through the Barcelona race event with as good a result as possible.

There are three weeks to go now until the first round, so I’ll spend some time with my engineer Matt Callaghan to go through what we’ve done in the tests at Estoril, Jerez and Barcelona, and finalise what we’re going to do for the first race weekend.

And I’ll get a few days in the Red Bull simulator to nail a few things too – that’s one of the perks of being a Red Bull Junior!

Before then, I’m going to spend a day at Silverstone on Saturday, watching some mates in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and European Le Mans Series – it’ll be nice to have a day at a racetrack without having to work, for once!

PaddockTalk Perspective



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