Räikkönen tests GP3 car in Barcelona
17 August 2013 – As the Formula 1 summer break nears its completion, Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen seized the opportunity to quench his thirst for speed a week early, as he took to the Circuit de Catalunya to conduct development testing of the GP3/13 chassis.
The Finn racked up a total of 58 laps on his way to setting a best laptime of 1:34.780, enough to have placed him third on the grid for the GP3 race at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix back in May.
Made possible thanks to the strong relationship between Räikkönen and GP3 outfit Koiranen GP, the purpose of the test was to find to find technical solutions to offer more overtaking possibilities to the drivers in 2014, with GP3 Technical Director Didier Perrin praising the quality of the 2007 World Champion’s feedback.
“We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Kimi today,” he began. “His experience and feedback were invaluable and they gave us a better understanding of what needs to be done in order to make our car a better tool in overtaking opportunities for next season. He has confirmed all our hypothesis, and together we could start working on two development directions for the end of season testing.”
Räikkönen added that he had been ‘curious’ to experience the handling nuances of the junior series car, explaining that although the session had been arranged for development purposes, he had enjoyed the experience.
“I wanted to test the GP3/13 because my friend Afa Heikkinen has a team in this Series and I have been closely following their progress and results since the beginning of the season,” he said. “I was curious to see how the car handled and it was actually fun to drive. There were a few issues regarding its behaviour, but we managed to solve most of them. The GP3/13 is a very good tool for young drivers, especially when you have to learn about tyre management like we have in F1.”