Awesomeness in GP3 Test: Just Saying


We found ourselves once again at the windy and cold – well, not always, but mostly in early spring – Circuito Estoril for a bit of GP3 experience in late March. GP3 2017, that is.

Most of you will already know that here at iberianmph dot com HQ we are unconditional fans of F2, formerly known as GP2, and GP3 cars and rising stars.

2017 brought a new title for GP2 (FIA F2), while GP3 keeps its name for a while, until a possible merger with the FIA F3. I’d personally be sad to see the current generation of GP3 cars go because they’re pure racing machines, immaculate, simply superb, thoroughbred single-seaters, a thing of gearhead beauty. What’s more, GP3 propelled young drivers like Bottas or Kvyat straight into the F1 limelight (on the other hand, so did F3 with Mad Max!).

Them GP3/16 motors give you all the right sensations when you’re standing in the pit lane: they’re loud, they’re violent, the ground shakes when the mighty Mecachrome 3.4-litre V6 wakes up, your eardrums are shattered. It’s like a miniature Ferrari SF15-T pocket rocket. It’s everything an old school petrolhead might want.

We didn’t get to spend much time at the circuit because it was so damn freezing and miserable. Even the notoriously photo-shy Jean Alesi was hiding under his the Edge-like beanie!

GP3 Estoril Test March 2017 (74)

Not a Beautiful Day

While Sauber’s latest signing, Tatiana Calderón, was busy explaining the principle of en vogue F1 nose designs: we know how race car drivers use their hands and fingers to explain stuff.

GP3 Estoril Test March 2017 (50)

F1 cars look so funny, #OMG!

Tatiana is a seriously fast lady, having scored points in GP3 last year. We obviously wish her the best of luck in 2017.

The gloomy weather didn’t prevent the teams from testing new bits: I’m sure they learned more about rain tyres in Estoril than they ever needed to. Just kidding: the level of professionalism in lower categories now mimics Formula 1; rain or shine, useful terabytes of data will come in handy in preparation for the season ahead.

Also on offer was the sexy new rear wing, complete with DRS. I normally wouldn’t praise DRS for you (#TweetingForRoebuck), however GP3’s take on the evil device has a touch of Leonardo, it’s absolutely genius. Lap times were sort of similar to last year (in the 1m27s bracket when the rain would stop) despite the devilish mechanism (DRS), probably as a consequence of almost arctic or Siberian track temperatures – as opposed to Iberian, as in the Iberian MPH, the supposedly sunny Iberian Peninsula.

We’ll be able to bring you more on the technical side of things after Diego’s and Tony’s scheduled visit to Valencia GP3 test next month.

I can’t add anything else to the report other than Steijn Schothorst boasts a cool coach or “coachella” in the form of Giedo van der Garde who was present in Estoril as well.

GG Coaching

GG coaching and tweeting

Please now go mad and check out the full GP3 photo gallery below. Hit “view full size” for better quality.

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