As pre-season testing for the 2011 Formula 3 Euroseries Championship resumed this week in Barcelona, Prema Powerteam’s Roberto Merhi once again topped the timesheets on the first day. Under sunny skies at the Circuit de Catalunya, Merhi – the fastest man in the Valencia test last week – cleared 2nd quickest driver Nigel Melker by 3 tenths of a second.
Naturally, Merhi was pleased with his performance, but was keeping his feet firmly on the ground: “Of course, I am happy to be back in front again. But I also know that qualifying at Le Castellet is what really counts. Today, we have been working very well, but we still have a long way to go.”
F3 Euroseries newcomer Melker, lay 2 tenths ahead of Signature’s Marco Wittman,who in turn was another 2 tenths ahead of Kimiya Sato (Motopark Academy). Wittman was level-headed with his result. “We have completed our programme. However, it is difficult to say anything about the significance of the times in testing, because we don’t know what the other teams were trying.”
Merhi’s team-mate, Daniel Juncadella was 4th fastest ahead of Signature’s Laurens Vanthoor and Motopark Academny’s Felix Rosenqvist respectively. Rosenqvistwas was closely followed by fellow Swede Jimmy Eriksson, who admitted he was still adjusting to the challenges of the Formula 3. “The test day wasn’t without problems, but at the end, the balance of my car was all right. I have to admit that the level in the Formula 3 Euro Series is higher than I had expected. It is all very close and one little mistake means that you are well down the order” the newcomer said.
Full timings from both morning and afternoon sessions can be found here:
The second day of the test continues tomorrow (Monday) in Barcelona, 2 weeks ahead of the season opener at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 1-3 April.