W Series drivers Chloe Chambers and Nerea Marti completed a one-day FIA Formula 3 test today Saturday 17th September, at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, France. As was yesterday’s session with Abbi Pulling and Hamda Al Qubaisi, the purpose of this test was for Chambers to get a first taste of the car, its set-ups, and the demands of F3’s environment. It was the second time that Marti was able to jump in the car, following a first experience last November, at the same track.
Today, each driver was provided with three sets of slick Pirelli tyres, and again 2022 FIA Formula 3 Champion Victor Martins served as a reference driver and coach, while Magny-Cours Racing School’s instructor Julien Gilbert also worked alongside both drivers.
In the morning, Martins established a reference laptime before Chambers and Marti took to the track for a couple of installation laps. The session was then made of short runs and data analysis.
The afternoon session opened with two qualifying runs, each on fresh tyres, followed by a race simulation of 12 laps on race set-up and high fuel load. A DRS zone located between the Estoril and the Adelaide corners was activated for this long run, giving the drivers the chance to comprehend this device. The day concluded with more data analysis.
Each driver completed a total of 50 laps today.
FIA Formula 3 Technical Director Didier Perrin said: “It’s been another positive day, today. Both Chloe and Nerea were very focused on the job, and they made the most out of this test. We can already see how beneficial it has been for them, but also for Abbi Pulling and Hamda Al Qubaisi.
“It was very important for us to get all four drivers’ feedback on the car, their feeling at the wheel, and what we need to consider in order to improve it even further.”
Chloe Chambers commented: “It went pretty well. I definitely learned a lot, I made some improvements, and it was good to just experience this, especially in a car that’s so different to everything else I’ve driven. It was good to get a taste of it.
“The most challenging thing was trusting the grip of the car. I’ve never driven a car with this much downforce and these soft tyres, especially compared to the W Series car, there are huge differences in how much lateral load you can put onto the tyres. That’s something that I need some time to get used to.
“It was very enjoyable to drive this car. I’ve enjoyed the team and everybody a lot. The car is just so incredible to drive. It’s definitely a big step-up, but obviously it’s going to help me in the long run. “It was very beneficial to have Victor here. He’s the reigning Champion so he’s proven to have a lot of speed and knowledge. That showed when he helped coach us. I’ve definitely taken along his advice and hopefully I will be able to apply it into my other racing in W Series.”
Nerea Marti said: “The day was amazing. I learned a lot. Compared to my test last year, I made a lot of improvements. This year, I learned more on extracting the best of the old tyres. With new tyres, I need to put everything together because the Pirelli tyres are tricky to master. But I’m very happy, I think I gave my all.
“I improved a lot in the fast corners and the braking. I now brake later and harder, and in fast corners I could see that what I was doing was very close to what Victor was doing. I improved throughout the day.
“Victor was able to impart his experience with us. He taught us how to properly warm up the tyres, or how to carry speed into the corners. That was very beneficial, just like it was having Dennis Hauger with us last year. It’s nice that they give us some advice to help us understand the car better and progress quicker.”