Noel León has been getting straight down to business during the second post-season test. Unable to break into the top 10 during the first two days of running at Jerez last week, by contrast the Mexican driver was a firm fixture amongst the quickest times at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Reflecting on two productive and strong days of running, León says the times are a testament to effort put in to help him progress and he’s been relishing the experience behind the wheel of the #17 Van Amersfoort Racing car,
“For sure, we’ve made big steps from Jerez. I’m really happy with the work from the team and everybody. We just need to keep up the hard work and then see if we can make it better in Imola. It was good to be the top rookie yesterday and today we were close to the top five.
“It’s such an amazing car to be honest. It’s so powerful and there is so much grip. I’m really enjoying it,” he added.
Day 1 saw León claim the fastest rookie honours, clocking in a 1:27.395 to go just three tenths off Luke Browning’s leading time. Focusing on Qualifying simulation in the morning once again, León rounded them out with the seventh best lap of the day.
Studying the data from 135 laps split across the two days, there is one part of adapting to the Formula 3 car in particular that is proving a challenge for León - the tyres. The newly crowned 2023 Euroformula Open Champion has had previous running on the Pirelli compounds but believes that his struggles to match his race pace form during the afternoons to his one lap pace leaves plenty of room for improvement going forward.
“How to prepare the tyre I think is one of the biggest things for all the drivers because it's quite difficult to put it in the window, but I’m learning with the team. I think we’re in a good position to be better next time.
“It’s the most important thing to work on, but also the race runs. I think we are missing a little bit there. Of course, everything comes down to how you prepare the tyres for the race runs as well.”
After a week break, Formula 3 heads to Imola on October 23-24. The Italian circuit hosts the final two days of post-season testing to bring the 2023 season to a close.