Italian GP2 Series outfit Scuderia Coloni have completed a successful 3 day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in France, ahead of the main GP2 season which gets underway in May, at the Barcelona track alongside the first European race of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 3 day test at the French track saw their new signing, Bulgarian Vladimir Arabadzhiev make his on track debut for the team alongside Alberto Valerio.
The 3 day test was the first official timed test since the end of the GP2 Asia series, and gave the teams the first chance to work with their new driver line ups and prepare for the forthcoming season.
The 3 day test at Paul Ricard was held over 3 different track configurations, so the teams could work on a number of different aspects during the 6 sessions. The circuit allowed the GP2 teams to use the 3D and 2d-b configurations for high down force testing, while the 2A configuration was used for low drag set ups. The 2A configuration includes a long back straight.
The 3 day test was hard work for the team, the effort put in by the team was worthwhile though, as it helped build up the relationships between the engineers and drivers. Confirmation of the team's effort came in the amount of laps that Arabadzhiev completed. Over the 3 days, Arabadzhiev completed 138 laps, more than anyone else who was in attendance at the test.
Arabadzhiev's more experienced team mate, Valerio completed 116 laps during the 3 days.
Speaking about the test, Paolo Coloni said: “I'm really happy of the team's job. It was the first time together for the Main Series team, and they did really good. We lapped on three different track configurations and in all the possible weather conditions, from dry to wet and even on a damp track with slick tyres. We tried lots of different solutions, and laptimes were never our objective. If you look at the laptimes of these sessions, they are a bit different from what we've seen in GP2 Asia, so I think that all the teams were trying in very different conditions. Apart from that, I want to say that I was really impressed by Arabadzhiev; He worked hard, did a huge amount of laps and he was really good throughout the whole test”.
Alberto Valerio said about his test: “I'm really happy of the job I've done with the team. It was the first test of 2010, everything was new, and my first objective was getting acquainted with the team and with the new technical director. The really good thing is that we improved session after session: in the last one I didn't use new tyres, and I was just 8 tenths adrift of Maldonado, who was on fresh rubber. This gives me a good feeling for the first race, in Barcelona”.
The team's new Bulgarian driver, Vladimir Arabadzhiev said: “I'm happy because my objective was putting as many kms as possible under my belt, and I achieved that. On the second day I was really close to Alberto, who is much more experienced than me, and on the third day the good lap time didn't come because we chose to use our new tyres a bit early, to avoid a possible rain shower. Anyway, the only important thing was getting familiar with the car and the team, and I did that”.