The Sauber F1 Team gave Chinese driver Adderly Fong and Israeli driver Roy Nissany their first opportunities to drive a Formula 1 car when they took their 2012 C31 machine to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Fong, who ran a part-schedule with Jenzer Motorsport in the GP3 Series in 2014 before concentrating on his Audi R8 LMS Cup campaign in Asia, thanked Sauber for the opportunity of experiencing a Formula 1 car for the first time on Wednesday, and felt the car was fantastic to drive but difficult to learn as he ran 99 mistake-free laps of the Valencia circuit.
“I am very happy that I had the opportunity to test the Sauber C31,” insisted Fong. “I have achieved my objective to complete 300 km without making any mistakes and at a good speed. The car was fantastic to drive; it is a brilliant piece of machinery. With so much horsepower and high downforce, it is a difficult car to learn, but I was able to improve lap by lap.
“I really want to thank Sauber and Ferrari for providing me such a good package today. It was great being able to test the car at the track in Valencia, having started Formula 3 testing here in 2009.”
FIA European Formula 3 Championship points scorer Nissany took over for day two on Thursday and also ran 99 laps of the Spanish circuit, and was amazed with how his day and how the experience of driving an F1 car for the first time went.
“It was an amazing day,” said the Israeli driver. “It was my first time driving a Formula One car, and it felt great. I was quite excited at the beginning, and I think I feel more experienced now. Going through the fast corners with this high amount of downforce and adapting my driving style to this car was not easy, but I managed to do everything well.
“I am very happy with today’s outcome, not just from my side, but also from the team’s side, as everyone works very professionally. I knew the track in Valencia, so I think that was a good advantage.”