Just two days on from taking the European FIA Formula 3 title, Raffaele Marciello was back on track in Barcelona. Awaiting him was his first encounter with a Formula Renault 3.5 car as part of a combined test session running over two days at the Catalunya circuit. This was Marciello’s first test in a programme set out by the head of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Luca Baldisserri. The programme also provides for an introduction to the GP2 series at the Abu Dhabi circuit from 5 to 7 November.
Raffaele’s autumnal testing got off to a very good start, as he took to the track with the Dams and Tech 1 teams to cover a total of 115 laps of the Catalunya circuit over the two days of testing. Marciello first drove for Dams, setting a best time of 1.30.247, which put him sixth quickest by the end of the day. Moving over to Tech 1, Raffaele was then able to try a Dallara-Zytek in the wet, as it rained today. In the afternoon, the track dried out very quickly, so that slicks could be fitted again. With the dry tyres Marciello was fifth quickest in a time of 1.31.145.
“I am pleased with the way things went over the two days of testing. I quickly adapted to the car, which reacts in a way that reminds me a lot of the Formula 3 car I have driven over the past seasons. And the physical side was also very good. I did over a hundred laps without getting tired, which proves how effective is the preparation we have done with the FDA. The test covered everything and I also was able to try the rain tyres and even in these conditions the results were good.
My best time was set on the first day, when the track was quicker in the morning session. Today, it was obviously impossible to improve because of the rain. I was always in the top five on the time sheet, which I consider a good performance, given this was my first encounter with a much more powerful car than the one I had driven previously.”