Raikkonen takes time off from holiday break to test GP3 Series car

Kimi Raikkonen poses with the GP3 car he tested

Kimi Raikkonen poses with the GP3 car he tested

While the Formula 1 world languishes in enforced time off, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen tested the GP3 2013 car at Circuit de Catalunya as part of an official GP3 development test in preparation for the 2014 season.

This test was made possible thanks to the strong relationship between Raikkonen and GP3 team Koiranen GP. The Finn star stopped by the GP3 paddock in Nurburgring last month during the F1 Grand Prix weekend and was eager to get behind the wheel of the machine.

With an official development test happening this month, it was the perfect opportunity to have him drive the GP3 car and collect precious data for next season.

The testing programme was twofold;  first to test the performance of the car on different tyre compounds and secondly to conduct a development programme as requested by GP3 and Pirelli. The purpose of this official test was to find technical solutions to offer more overtaking possibilities to the drivers for the 2014 races.

After a complete one day programme, Raikkonen covered 58 laps (270 km) with a best laptime of 1:34.780 set at 16:40 local time. He gave invaluable feedback regarding the car’s behaviour and the tyres’ performance and degradation which will definitely help improve the car for next season.

Kimi Raikkonen during GP3 Series testing

Kimi Raikkonen during GP3 Series testing

Raikkonen said: “I wanted to test the GP3/13 because my friend Afa Heikkinen has a team in this Series and I have been closely following their progress and results since the beginning of the season. I was curious to see how the car handled and it was actually fun to drive. There were a few issues regarding its behaviour, but we managed to solve most of them. The GP3/13 is a very good tool for young drivers, especially when you have to learn about tyre management like we have [to] in F1.”

GP3 Series Technical Director Didier Perrin commented: “We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Kimi today. His experience and feedback were invaluable and they gave us a better understanding of what needs to be done in order to make our car a better tool in overtaking opportunities for next season. He has confirmed all our hypotheses, and together we could start working on two development directions for the end of season testing. We would like to thank Kimi for testing with us today, Koiranen GP for helping make this possible and to Lotus F1 Team for their kind co-operation.”  (GP3 Series)

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