Nick Yelloly revealed that his first few laps around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a shock to the system as the British racer re-adapted to life behind the wheel of a single-seater whilst testing with the Racing Point F1 Team.
Yelloly, a long-time member of the Silverstone-based team, completed one hundred and eleven laps on the opening day of the test on Tuesday and eighty-three laps on Wednesday, with his best time of 1:18.212 coming on day two.
“The first couple of laps were a bit of a shock to the system if I am honest,” said Yelloly on his official website. “Having not been in single seater competition for a while you do forget how quick the things are.
“After a few runs though, I adjusted pretty quickly and could get straight into some good running.”
With usual Racing Point drivers Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll running the Pirelli tyre test, Yelloly was drafted in by the team to run both days in Spain, and the BMW factory driver said he used the test to correlate with the car what he experiences in the Racing Point simulator.
He admitted it was surprising to him just how close to reality the simulator actually felt when he took to the track, which he feels will be beneficial for everyone going forward.
“Compared to the simulator I was surprised on how close to reality the real car felt,” admitted the Briton. “It definitely helped me with adapting to the car fast. We learnt a lot during the two days on track, and we now know in which areas where we can take another step with sim correlation.”
“As always, being an F1 driver for the week is a pretty cool experience. The coolest thing still has to be the speed of the car, without doubt. The current spec F1 cars are so capable at high speed and in the braking zones, so to feel what the top level of racing car in the world was able to do was amazing.“
It was Yelloly’s first experience of a Formula 1 car since testing with Racing Point’s predecessors, Sahara Force India F1 Team, back in 2015, and he admitted the performance level back then was significantly different to what he experienced on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Since 2015 the cars have come on massively,” he revealed. “My lap time was 9.1 seconds faster this week than I did when I was driving the car back in 2015.
“This mostly comes from the extra downforce levels and new spec tyres, but also I could really feel how the power unit has developed over that period of time too.”