FIA Formula 3 resumed its test programme last week, travelling to Barcelona for another two-day visit – the last in-season sessions of 2022. For Zak and the Carlin team, this Easter weekend event provided an opportunity to test various set-ups ahead of the upcoming race weekends, and overall the results were positive.
Despite a chilly test for Formula 2 in the days before, Zak and his F3 peers experienced sunny conditions at Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya. In a session that saw two red flags, Zak worked on a number of run plans, mainly varying from those around him. As a result, there was no concern of the P25 position at the lunchtime stoppage. The afternoon remained just as warm – quite the difference from the conditions seen the week before in Jerez – and all 30 drivers took to the track for longer runs. As the chequered flag fell on the second session, Zak sat in a solid P12.
Day two saw the Williams Racing Academy driver back on track, continuing to trial a range of set-ups. In a session that saw the grid tackle Qualifying simulations the 2021 GB3 Champion finished in P23, having boxed for new tyres at a different time to his peers. In the final session Zak laid down an impressive 57 laps, the most out of any driver over the whole two days, enabling the team to collect crucial data for the season going forward. They found some improvement in his race run pace and some positive feedback regarding tyre degradation.
The 17-year-old’s overall position of 23rd was certainly not representative of the progress made over the test, and he and the Carlin crew look forward to putting their learnings into practice next weekend.
FIA Formula 3 returns for Round 2 of the championship on 22nd-24th April in Imola, Emilia-Romagna as support for Formula 1.