Jaafar, 18-years-old, driving for a second year with the championship-winning Carlin team, was pleased to be the pace-setter this afternoon, saying, “It’s been a good test. We were on the pace right from the start of it yesterday morning and stayed there this afternoon. The track was a mix of wet and dry this morning, so we didn’t get much running, but we were back out in the afternoon and were able to do further work on setup options and new tyre running.”
The PETRONAS-backed driver added, “It was a very productive test and I’m really happy to end the day at the top, I can’t ask for any more than that. I think the experience of a year in F3 combined with the continuity of Carlin and my engineer is reflected in our performance this week. I’m very excited about the prospects ahead and can’t wait to get back in the car for the next test.”
Getting his first taste of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in the three morning sessions on the first day of testing, the cool, sunny weather proved perfect testing conditions for the young driver. Over the course of the three sessions Jaafar turned consistently strong laps, finally finishing third quickest overall, just behind two of his Carlin team mates.
Weather conditions for the second morning of running were less conducive to productive testing with a part dry, part wet track putting paid to quick times and limited running time for Jaafar. Conditions improved later in the day and with a dry track for the afternoon Jaafar put on new tyres and blasted to the top of the leaderboard. No other driver was able to match Jaafar’s pace, so the Malaysian driver finished the day ahead of the rest of the field.
Jaafar heads to Oulton Park in Cheshire for his next series test session on 22nd March. Looking ahead to this, Jaafar says, “I’m eager to build on the momentum we have achieved so far, so this test can’t come quick enough for me. I’ll have to be patient and will use the time to keep my fitness levels high, so that I’m physically prepared for the new season.”