Red Bull Racing F1 driver Mark Webber drove the highly anticipated new GP3 single-seater today at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France.

Webber completed 19 laps on the 3A configuration of the circuit under the spotlight of the watching media and teams.

"I have been pleasantly surprised by the new GP3 car," he said after his first run. "It's my first experience driving the car and I can honestly say it is like driving a small F1 car.

"A lot of the aspects are what I am already used to, but obviously on a smaller, more junior scale, for example the car has a full paddle shift gearbox and clutch system.

"The biggest advantage for this championship has to be racing at the F1 race weekends. This will give drivers great exposure, and for sure all of the team bosses will be watching during race weekends.

"Overall I think it is a great car I am very impressed by the whole package, and I am looking forward to the first race next season."

Speaking about his involved as a team principal in the Series, Webber was quick to point out that it was the calibre of the championship that attracted him.

"[Red Bull Racing F1 team boss] Christian Horner was interested in taking part in the Series and approached me. I'm not at the beginning of the F1 career so it was a logical step for me," Webber explained.

Meanwhile the launch marked the first time the ten teams entered in 2010 have been able to get 'up close and personal' with the GP3 car. The event also gave them the opportunity to have a closer look at the turbo engine developed by the Renault F1 Team.

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