A ‘vertical’ learning curve for Alex Brundle in GP3
Alex Brundle described his first test in the Carlin GP3 car as 'tricky' at the end of the first of two days of testing in Portugal.
Prior to heading out to the Estoril Circuit the King's Lynn racer was keen to get acquainted with his new steed for the coming season.
'I'm really looking forward to getting in the car this week,' said the 20-year-old. 'I've spent a lot of time at the factory in preparation for this on the simulator so I can't wait for the test to start.
'This is the first time I've been in the GP3 car so I'm going to use the test to learn as much as I can. I've got to know the team well and I feel as though I have a great chance this year with Carlin and I'm looking forward to the season's start in Barcelona.'
At the end of the first day Brundle could reflect on his experience: 'Today's learning curve was pretty much vertical for me, but we have made good progress. I hope to continue improving tomorrow with the help of the team. I think overall we've made a good start.'
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Team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa demonstrated his pace in the Carlin GP3 car by going fastest in the final stages of the afternoon session before last minute improvements by two other drivers relegated him to third by the chequered flag.
Northern Irish racer William Buller returned to the team having tested the GP3 car late last year and finished the afternoon 17th on the timesheets, just ahead of Brundle.
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Da Costa continued to show front running pace during day two finishing both the morning and afternoon sessions in third place.
Meanwhile, Brundle was 18th in the morning but ended up just outside of the top ten in the afternoon session having improved his lap times from the previous day.
'The car feels great, it's using the tyres well and although it's a steep learning curve for me I think we can take a lot of positives from this test,' was Brundle's reaction to the two days behind the wheel.
Brundle's dad, Martin, has also been in action recently as he gears up for a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours this summer testing a Radical sports car at Oulton Park, sharing the driving duties with son Alex.
Despite the temperatures remaining sub zero for the whole day the Sky F1 broadcaster enjoyed sessions in excess of an hour as he works on his stamina for the day-night event.
'At times it was difficult to tell who was the most excited – Alex or Martin,' said Radical's Phil Abbott.