Portuguese GP2 Series outfit Ocean Racing technology have proved themselves as one of the fastest teams on the grid after the recent three day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track.
The team, who will run a brace of cars for Swiss driver Fabio Leimer and young British star Max Chilton in the main series showed what they are capable of during the three day test.
The test didn't run smoothly for the team, as they encountered numerous problems with the cars, which were fixed as the team knew how to cure them.
The final afternoon of the test saw the team show what they are capable of as Leimer set the third fastest time of the session, a 1m10.022s, while team mate Chilton was 17th fastest, and his time was within half a second of Leimer’s time. Chilton set a best time of 1m10.459s.
Speaking after the test, Leimer explains why it was only on the final day that the team were able to work on set ups, after a raft of engineering problems restricted their running on the first two days: “Finally, we are on the right track. After two difficult days we could finally work effectively on the car. Previously, we had almost all kinds of misfortunes, engine problems, brake issues and others which made us lose a considerable amount of track time. On Thursday afternoon we finally succeeded in putting all the pieces of the puzzle together and our lap times got better and better. Therefore, I am satisfied. I know that we can go into the next tests with confidence. In Barcelona, it will be possible to build on the good base line that we secured in Paul Ricard and be able to test specific set up for qualifying and the race, and of course improve the performance even further.”
For Chilton, a mixture of problems with the car during the first 2 days then the final day being interrupted by 6 red flags meaning that Chilton wasn't able to show his and the cars true potential: “The test started badly but all’s well that ends well. I hope that we concentrated all our problems at Paul Ricard. I know that I had the potential to be in the leading bunch and that gives me confidence for the final pre season tests. I want to prove that Ocean Racing Technology will be a team that you will need to take seriously in the GP2 Main Series.”
The team directors, WTCC star Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes are satisfied with the work that the team have achieved over the 3 days at Paul Ricard, even with the problems. Monteiro said: “We will still have a lot of work to do in Barcelona because we had so little time to improve our package at Paul Ricard. It was impossible to foresee the mechanical problems we encountered and they forced us to stay in the garage for a long time. Finally, the last day was productive and allowed us to improve our total performance. The drivers also improved. If not for the engineering problems, Max should have matched Fabio’s performances and the entire team deserves our congratulations for their persistence and progress.”
The last pre season test for the GP2 field takes place at Barcelona, in two weeks time, ahead of the opening round of the 2010 GP2 main series at the Catalunya circuit, alongside the first European race of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.