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Raikkonen tests GP3 car at Circuit de Catalunya

Kimi Raikkonen: 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...
Kimi Raikkonen tested the GP3/13 car at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain today as part of an official GP3 development test in preparation for the 2014 season.

The test was made possible thanks to the strong relationship between Raikkonen and GP3 team Koiranen GP.

The Finn stopped by the GP3 paddock in the 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 GP3/13 car and collect precious data for next season.

“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,” said the 2007 F1 World Champion.

“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 in F1,” added the Lotus driver.

Raikkonen did 58 laps in total, around 270 kilometres - his best lap a 1 minute 34.780 seconds, which would have put him third on the grid in the race in Barcelona earlier this year.

He spent the day giving feedback on the car's behaviour and on the performance and degradation of the Pirelli tyres.

“We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Kimi today,” stated GP3 Series technical director, Didier Perrin. “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 hypothesis, 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 and Koiranen GP for helping make this possible.”

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Kimi Raikkonen tests the GP3/13
Kimi Raikkonen tests the GP3/13
Kimi Raikkonen tests the GP3/13

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August 16, 2013 7:01 PM

3rd on a GP3 grid is not that bad, it's sort of what I'd expect. Some people attribute wildly unrealistic performance to F1 drivers apparently, thinking they should obliterate a GP3 or GP2 field. That of course is rediculous, these guys aren't magicians, most of them just were among the best in those feeder series themsleves at one point and in a good team at that. The best of them can get that essential couple of tenths out of the car, that's the difference. Put FA in a midfield team in GP2 and maybe he's get a podium here and there... The drivers also know this and usually protect the reputations they build (worth the big $$$) by not stepping into other cars, especially those regarded as the top drivers. So props to Kimi for having the balls to step into this GP3 car at all at the risk of having his times compared to drivers who aren't established yet. Really just confirms the awesome racer he is.

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