Nigel Melker went fastest in the final day of pre-season testing ahead of the upcoming 2011 Formula 3 Euroseries championship. The MÃ¼cke Motorsport driver lapped around the 4.6 kilometre Circuit de Catalunya a mere 3 hundredths ahead of Signature’s Marco Wittmann. The duo were part of a small break-away couple at the top of the time-sheets on Day 3 (Monday), as Kimiya Sato was 2 tenths adrift for the Motopark Academy team.
Melker’s pace was more impressive due to Dutchman being one of the few rookies in the 2011 Euroseries, having moved to Formula 3 from the GP3 series. The youngster was happy with his time, but remained calm as he reminded the media of his inexperience: “Finishing first always feels nice. We tested a lot of new things on the car and today’s morning session went really well. Nonetheless, you mustn’t forget that I’ve got clearly less Formula 3 experience than many of my opponents. Therefore, this test shouldn’t make me enter the season with my expectations too high. It goes without saying that I’d love to win the title but making it to the top three remains my goal, nevertheless.”
2010 Euroseries runner-up Marco Wittmann chose not to read too far into his result: “I’ve got a positive feeling,” he said, “But that’s all you can say following a test.”
Kimiya Sato has frequently probed the top runners throughout testing, and did so once again displaying good potential. Roberto Merhi, who was quickest overall for Prema Powerteam in several pre-season tests set the 4th fastest time, but will still be confident heading into the opening rounds at Paul Ricard at the start of April. “We did a good job.” Was all the Spaniard had to say.
Signature’s Laurens Vanthoor, Prema Powerteam’s Daniel Juncadella lead a surprise visitor into the top 7, Kuba Giermaziak of the Star Racing Team’s single car entry. Kuba was only 6 hundredths ahead of Gianmarco Raimondo (Motopark Academy).
The conclusion of pre-season testing for the 2011 season has given us a vague idea of who should be leading the pack at the opening race in Paul Ricard, France on 1-3 April. Roberto Merhi has looked consistent and very quick throughout testing, but never too far ahead of the chasing pack, who occasionally snatch the headlines away from him. The field often being separated by merely a few hundredths of a second is a promising sign of an extremely competitive 2011 season.
Full timings can be found here: