Franco Colapinto has been doing everything he can to eek every last drop out of his testing debut with MP Motorsport, including seeking the advice of a former title rival, with the Argentine saying he’s been working closely with Caio Collet in Valencia.
The duo were championship contenders in the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup campaign, with the Brazilian finishing second and moving up to Formula 3, while Colapinto was third and opted for a season in the newly formed Formula Regional European Championship, as well as stints in Asian and European Le Mans and WEC.
Collet enjoyed a strong debut in F3, finishing as the second-highest scoring rookie with MP, taking two podiums and finishing ninth, and Colapinto feels it’s been helpful to share a garage with the Brazilian.
"I am learning a lot with all of the engineers, the mechanics and Caio as well, who has the experience in this championship,” said Colapinto. “I am trying to make the most out of it because we do not have much testing in this car, so every time I am out on track it is going to be quite critical.
“Caio did a really good job with MP this year, so of course it is good to have him as a teammate in this test to learn a lot more about the car. It is making the process a lot quicker.
“I am trying to get the most out of the test to improve with him. We’re helping each other quite a bit and that is good. I’m happy with that.”
Colapinto took four podiums, including two wins in Formula Regional, finishing the season in sixth. The 18-year-old also won in European Le Mans, finishing fourth, and was third in Asian Le Mans with three podiums.
The Formula Regional season concluded in Monza last weekend and Colapinto was one of several drivers to travel directly from Italy to Valencia late on Sunday. Although it doesn’t appear as if he’s suffering from any fatigue, with the Argentine finishing four of five sessions in the top 10 so far, including a table-topping time in the afternoon on Day 2.
“It has been amazing, to be honest. This car is really quick and very nice to drive,” he said. “I am enjoying it a lot, trying to make the most of it and get the most experience I can get from these three days of testing with MP. I want to keep improving every time I jump in the car.
“I was really happy with Day 2, there were a lot of improvements and some long runs. I am just trying to learn a bit more about the tyres and consistency. There is a lot of grip, more power and the brakes are better. It is a combo of everything - the car is quicker and it has more potential.
“The tyres are the trickiest part. They are difficult to manage with the degradation, and that is something that I need to learn more about. I think that we have done a good job and made a good step forward. The car has been amazing, and I want to thank everyone who is supporting me, who has made this possible.”