Maranello, 7 November – It was meant to be a foretaste, just a first attempt in a single-seater category that is never easy on beginners. However, Raffaele Marciello immediately found himself in the spotlight, as he produced some very encouraging times during his very first test at the wheel of a GP2 car.
For three days, the European FIA Formula 3 champion elect was driving at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, as part of a group test organised by the GP2 series. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Ferrari Driver Academy student took to the track in the Trident Racing team’s car and then on this the final day, had the chance to switch to the Racing Engineering car.
It didn’t take long for Marciello to get the right feel for the car, the track and the Pirelli tyres, managing to surprise everyone by ending his first day at the top of the time sheet with a lap in 1.49.811. These excellent times continued the next day, with Raffaele being third fastest on Wednesday, lapping in 1.49.411. On the final day, he posted a 1.49.052, which was good enough for fourth place.
“That was a very busy three days of testing, which meant I was able to gather a lot of information that we can now study calmly back in Maranello,” Raffaele told www.ferrari.com. “My first acquaintance with a GP2 car was great and I immediately felt at ease in the car and also with the tyres. I had studied the track as much as possible, looking at a lot of videos and it proved to be worthwhile, given that I adapted very quickly, finding the right reference points in just a few laps. I didn’t have any problems on new tyres, the feeling was there immediately and the times came quite naturally. It was a bit harder to manage the used tyres, but we didn’t do a genuine race simulation. On the final day, I initially had a few problems with understeer, but in the afternoon session the driveability of the car improved and I managed to end the test with a good time.”