Marussia Manor Racing was back out on track this week (25-26 October) at the first post-season GP3 Series test that took place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. Matias Laine was back at the wheel of the car for the first time since the 2011 season ended. Colombian-American driver Gabby Chaves was testing in the second Marussia Manor Racing car after finishing the GP3 season in 11th position with the Addax Team.
It was a positive test for Marussia Manor Racing. On Tuesday Gabby quickly got to grips with the car and was always within1.5s of the lead times, ending up 9th in the first session and 15th in the second session. It wasn’t until the afternoon when Matias showed his real pace, finishing in 2nd position and only 0.59s from the best time set by Mitch Evans.
On Wednesday Matias continued to demonstrate his good form. The results on the previous day gave him a big boost and he ended up in 2nd position again in both the morning and afternoon sessions, only 0.2 and 0.4s away from Mitch Evans. Gabby also continued to improve and finished in 10th and 8th positions on his second day of testing with Marussia Manor Racing and never more than a second away from the fastest time.
The GP3 Series will be back on track in November 23-24 for the second post season test, again taking place in Spain, but this time it will be at the track in Valencia.
Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal
“It was good to be back on track after more than a month and a half. We haven’t stopped working and we arrived in Barcelona ready to continue with our 2011 season performance and evaluate our drivers, preparing for next year. Winter testing is good for them as they drive without all the pressure that normally exists during the season. Matias has demonstrated very good pace this week and I’m sure this will give him plenty of confidence for the next season. After his first season in GP3 he has clearly shown that he now understands the category and I’m sure he can keep up these good results. Gabby Chaves was also testing with us this week and he has done a good job. He completed a good season with Addax and we are happy for him to have tested with us. Now we will analyse all the data from these two days in Barcelona and get ready for the next test in November in Valencia."
“I'm very happy and pleased with the results after the test in Barcelona. I felt very comfortable during both days and I'm finally demonstrating that I can be up there fighting for top positions. There's still a lot of work to do and its very early days, but this is a very good start and I will work hard to continue like this. I feel more confident and this will help me during the next months."
“It has been a very positive couple of days for me in Barcelona. After my first season in GP3, it has been great to be able to test with Marussia Manor Racing. I felt comfortable in the team and in the car very quickly. On the second day I was not far off from the top times so I am happy.”