Julian Leal racked up just over the 300km needed to secure his F1 Super License on Wednesday, despite an early engine issue on the final day of testing at Silverstone.
The Caterham development driver and GP2-frontrunner completed a total of 51 laps for the Leafield-based team in the afternoon session, with a best time of 1:42:365, which left him propping up the time sheets.
All of the Columbian’s running, bar one lap, came in the final hours of the day, after an early Renault CUH-failure on the CT05 kept him stuck in the garage in the morning.
Despite he and the Leafield-based team’s troubles on Wednesday, Leal was left feeling positive with his debut at the wheel of an F1 car.
“The feeling with the car was really good, so I’m very happy,” he said. “We were doing quite a lot of long runs to try and reach the 300 kilometres I need to make the Super License. The team was helping me a lot, and we were able to keep the tyres until the end of the runs quite well.”
With experience of Formula One machinery now accompanying his experience of GP2 with Carlin, Leal spoke of the differences between the two formulas.
“With Formula One you can maybe take a little bit more speed into the corners and use more circuit than GP2, because Formula One is very smooth when you run wide,” he explained.
“Also, a big, big difference was the braking, because you’re able to brake very, very late compared to GP2 in a Formula One car.”
Leal currently sits sixth in the GP2 standings with 66 points, whilst Caterham languish at the bottom of the F1 standings following a poor British Grand Prix last weekend.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic