If anyone felt at home at Jerez for the first three-day pre-season GP2 test it was Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón's Spanish squad, who don't seem at all phased by generally running in the midfield part of the timesheets during the week.
"The last three days were very positive," insisted the team's lead driver for 2012, Fabio Leimer. "Everything we planned to test, we could actually do and we had no problem with that."
"We had three days of hard work with a really big program," agreed Nathanaël Berthon, who is not currently confirmed with the team for 2012 but who was happy to step in and help with the Jerez testing while Racing Engineering finalise their plans. "We never searched for the fast lap times, but worked hard having what will be necessary for the championship in mind."
The team's best single session was on Tuesday afternoon when teams were busy working on race simulations and both drivers were in the top ten of the timesheets. But it was really mileage rather than speed that the team were focussing on at Jerez.
"The new 2012 regulations opened new possibilities and combinations of choices, which make the work more complicated, but also more interesting," explained Thomas Couyotopoulo, the team's Sporting Director. "But this also means it's harder to compare the performance of 26 cars during a test day."
After Thursday's session was interrupted by an hour-long red flag for track repairs to be made to a damaged bit of curbing, the team opted not to even attempt any fast runs during the day in order to focus on race set-up.
"Today we were also doing some long runs and this brought us ahead," said Leimer. "We gained a lot of important information and were also able to obtain more insights about the new tyres, prime and option."
"I think with the program we did, we have a lot of information to work with now and we will have a lot of work in Barcelona," agreed Berthon, adding that Racing Engineering would now have "the goal to be strong in Barcelona."
Barcelona is the destination for next week's three day pre-season test from Tuesday March 6 to Thursday March 8. Then the GP2 cars get crated up and dispatched to Sepang, Malaysia for the season opener on March 23-25.