Following the conclusion of the GP3 season and post-season testing, newly crowned GP3 Series Champion Charles Leclerc continued his hard work, this time undertaking an important role in the development of the GP3 car for the upcoming 2017 season. The Monegasque driver was on hand firstly at the Yas Marina Circuit for a three day test session, and then at the Bahrain International Circuit for another three days.
The objectives of the tests were twofold: to work on the Pirelli compounds for the 2017 season and to fine tune the DRS device which will be introduced in GP3 next year. As a reminder, the DRS device will have the same functionalities as the one used in both GP2 Series and Formula 1, and it will use the same DRS zones.
At the end of the six days, Charles completed a total of 2,600 kilometres.
Charles Leclerc commented: “The programme was really nice. We did run a lot; it was a really busy programme! For instance, I completed 120 laps in one day at the Yas Marina Circuit. It was quite a surprise for me to run so many laps. Physically it was quite hard but I was pleased to work with the development team.
“One of the objectives of the test was to check if the DRS device will bring enough of an advantage to help produce good fights at the braking points. The first option we tested didn’t make a significant difference. When I tested the second option, the improvement was huge. This was noticeable at both Yas Marina and Bahrain. I think there will definitely be a lot more overtaking opportunities which will make the races even more interesting. From my side, it’s always nice to arrive at the end of the straights a bit quicker, so it was good fun to drive.
“I also tested many different tyre compounds in Bahrain that Pirelli wanted to develop and target to use in the future. It was a really good experience for me to see how Pirelli work and I found the whole six days of testing really useful.”