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Leimer happy with top time on first test day

That's not to say that he wouldn't have liked to finish up higher in the afternoon timesheets than 20th. "I was pretty quick and my laptime could have been half a second quicker: unluckily I found Gonzalez proceeding slowly on the racing line," he explained. "Anyway, I will go for a flyer tomorrow morning, I have a very good feeling about that."

Fabio Onidi was able to run on both sessions, and appeared at the top of the timesheets early on before finishing fifth in the morning session.

"It's a great car to drive and I felt immediately at ease," said Onidi about his first experience with the GP2/11 car. "The way the grip evolves lap after lap wasn't an issue, and the feeling with the car on new rubber - usually the hardest part when debuting on a new open wheeler - was easy to find, so the laptime came quite easily."

He was 14th fastest in the later session: "In the afternoon we did a race-oriented job with more fuel and we tried different set-up solutions," he confirmed.

In fact, Dutch driver Yelmer Buurman was almost the only driver to improve his times in the afternoon session as he tested the Caterham Team AirAsia alongside GP3 driver Antonio Felix da Costa. Buurman finished in second place in the second session of the day, in his first outing in the GP2/11 car on Pirelli after appearing in GP2 and GP2 Asia for Arden and Ocean in former years.

"It's been a great day," he enthused. "This is the first time I have been in the new GP2 car and it was a nice introduction. The difficult part for me was to learn the new Pirelli tyres but I think we did a good job.

"This morning we were P6 and then P2 this afternoon so I am really happy with that," he continued. "Most teams seemed to go at least half a second slower this afternoon, but we were able to maintain the same sort of times as this morning which is very positive. We have learnt a lot during the day so I am very happy."

De Costa was also happy with this day at the office. "It was a pleasure to jump into a proper racing car today," he said after it was all over. "It's been a good environment with the team and overall a good day."

Meanwhile, chief race engineer Humphrey Corbett was just happy that he didn't have any major overnight work to oversee. "The cars are in one piece, the drivers didn't put a foot wrong," he said. "Both are very nice guys so it has been a pleasure to work with them."

Ricardo Teixeira and Alexander Rossi take over at Caterham Team AirAsia for the Thursday test day, from 9am local time.

In fact the only stoppage of the day came some 30 minutes before the end of the morning running, with a brief red flag for Johnny Cecotto who beached his Addax car in the gravel at turn 8 but nonetheless set the fourth fastest time of the session.




Related Pictures

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Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Barwa Addax Team) in the garage during the first day of testing at Jerez, Spain in September 2011. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) on track during the first day of testing at Jerez, Spain in September 2011. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Yelmer Buurman (NED, Team AirAsia) in the garage during the first day of testing at Jerez, Spain in September 2011. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) on track during the first day of testing at Jerez, Spain in September 2011. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Nelson Mason (CAN, Hilmer Motorsport) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the first of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Wednesday, April 16 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the first of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Wednesday, April 16 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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