During their recent test at Abu Dhabi GP3 ran tests with multiple cars to observe how they behaved in each others’ slipstream with a view to improve overtaking. Here’s some explanatory quotes from GP3 technical director Didier Perrin:
With the collaboration of the existing GP3 teams, we had the GP3 development car follow other cars in the tow to obtain data. We tested a slightly modified front wing that would minimise the down-force loss of a car following another in the tow. The target was that straight after a corner, the driver could find it less difficult to stay in the ‘dirty air’ and find it easier to be within a close proximity of another car. The data collected confirmed this in principle.
A two day tyre development test session with Pirelli was then run on the 9-10th November with Evans at the helm in the GP3 development car. In August 2013, Lotus F1 Team Driver and 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen completed one day of tyre testing and with this combination of feedback and analysis, further data was collected in Abu Dhabi.
The focus was to increase the front mechanical grip. The target for 2014 would be to allow GP3 drivers to be more aggressive in corner entry and to facilitate braking and overtaking. This test went well and 115 laps were completed. We are still working on different possibilities and ideas for the 2014 season, as we’ve not yet decided which direction we will take.
Definitely good for the series. Perhaps slightly more degradation in the 2014 car, allied to closer racing from a front mechanical grip increase/less wake in the tow. Bodes well for Mitch Evans to get some extra time testing Pirelli tyres like that as well, for the future (GP2/F1).