The first pre-season test for the 2011 GP3 season got underway this week at Circuit Paul Ricard in France. After nearly five months, the Marussia Manor Racing GP3 cars were back on track with Rio Haryanto and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs back at the wheel of the Dallara GP3 for a second season. Rookie driver Matias Laine got to grips with his new car and started to settle in at his new team.
With a wet track and low temperatures, the drivers completed their first laps of the season with the Pirelli wet tyres. The track dried enough to run with slicks for a few laps before the lunch break, but in the afternoon it rained steadily again. Rio demonstrated strong pace, setting one of the quickest wet times of the day. Adrian also had a good start and worked on the set-up of the car, while Matias Laine was able to complete 34 laps in the afternoon after recovering from a problem with his car in the morning.
During today’s second and final day of testing in France, all three drivers were able to complete plenty of mileage on a dry track and the team continued to develop the different car set-ups in preparation for the season ahead.
The Marussia Manor Racing team will be back on track at the second of three tests in Silverstone at the end of the month.
Pete Sliwinski, Team Manager
“The team has worked very hard over the winter so it is good to be back out on track for the first time this season. It has been a very constructive test here at Paul Ricard. We have been working to develop our set-up from last season in wet and dry conditions, gathering useful information on the new tyre compounds in the process. All three drivers have done a good job, so with their feedback we go back to base to process the information in preparation for testing at Silverstone in a month time.”
“It’s good to be back in the car after the winter break and to start a second season with Marussia Manor Racing. We tried many different set-ups and collected a lot of data that will be very useful for the future.”
“We had a good couple of days testing and getting back into the swing of GP3 after so many months away. As we will not be racing at Paul Ricard this season, the times were not so important, so we concentrated on the car development and carried out some race simulation work.”
“I am very happy with how the team is working. The weather was not the best here as yesterday it rained a lot. But today we were able to complete some good runs on a dry track and we tested a lot of different set-ups in order to be ready for the new season.”