WSR Testing Doesn’t Go As Planned


The majority of the media’s attention was on the second week of Formula 1 testing but let’s not forget that the World Series by Renault is back! Allow the celebrations to begin.

This year marks the ninth season for the Formula Renault 3.5 series and with the GP2 line up looking more impressive than ever, winning this championship could help a driver emerge as a contender for Formula 1.

Testing began largely how it would continue. Adverse weather conditions hampered driver running. Let’s not forget, in testing fast times allow for bragging rights but they’re not essential. Most important of all, drivers need to get mileage in their new car.

As all 26 drivers convened at the Aragon Motorland circuit they were greeted by intermittent showers and wintry weather. Despite this, the participants in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series managed a combined 835 laps during the morning, mainly on grooved tyres. The World Series by Renault still uses Michelin tyres, not the Formula 1 suppliers, Pirelli.

Stoffel Vandoorne  was the only driver to get below the 1:40 mark.“The quickest time in the morning didn’t really mean anything as it was difficult to make any comparison in such changeable weather conditions” he said upon reflection. Testing is perhaps the only time that drivers don’t aim to be a top the time sheets.

Da Costa and Move completed the first top three of the year, suggesting that it could be a closely-fought season ahead. Rookies Matias Laine (P1 Motorsports) and Norman Nato (DAMS) started their 2013 campaigns with promise by setting top 10 times.

Oli Webb, who will contribute this year’s coverage (and is therefore a friend of ‘stoodonthepodium’), finished sixth on the final day. Rain hampered his chances as the Briton drove the car after his Fortec Motorsports team mate Vandoorne.

The second day did not go as anticipated. A foundation of snow coated the circuit, forcing the drivers into the pits…and to Harlem Shake!

Cars and snow are never a healthy combination and with the drivers still adapting to their new version, driving on the second day would not have been appropriate. I asked Nikolay Martsenko about his plans for the second day. He joked that spikes and gloves would be enough of a deterent for the snow. Rather him than me!
Yesterday I received conformation from The World Series by Renault organizing committee who said they “will try to find a way of replacing this day in agreement with the teams”.

As the drivers return home after an anti-climatic test, their thoughts will turn to their next opportunity. As soon as an additional date for testing is announced I will let you all know.

Don’t forget to stay tuned as Oli Webb will be giving us his thoughts about the test and his hopes for coming months.

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