The session took place at the Circuit de Catalunya, a track Raikkonen knows well after extensive winter testing sessions at the wheel of Formula 1 machinery. The test was made possible thanks to the Finn’s close relationship with the Koiranen GP team – a new GP3 outfit debuting this season.
Raikkonen visited the GP3 paddock at the Nurburgring last month and the timing of the development test proved to be perfect, with the Lotus driver eager to get behind the wheel of the GP3/13.
The two main aims for the test were to try out different tyre compounds and conduct a development programme requested by GP3 and Pirelli, in the hope of improving overtaking in the series next year.
He completed 58 laps over the course of the day with a best lap time of 1m1m34.780. Raikkonen gave the GP3 series invaluable feedback and data on the new machine which was launched last September.
The 2013 Australian Grand Prix race winner said on the experience: “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. 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.”
Didier Perrin, GP3 Series technical director, said on the test: “We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Kimi today. 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 added: “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.”
Images courtesy of GP3 Media