With three-days of testing now under his belt, Campos rookie Gianluca Petecof says he feels a lot more confident heading into the season, admitting that his first experience of a race simulation was “not very pleasant.”

Signed on the back of a title-winning campaign in the Formula Regional European Championship, the highly-rated Brazilian arrived at the pre-season tests in Sakhir cold, without any prior experience of the F2 machinery or the18-inch Pirelli tyres.

“The tests helped a lot,” said Petecof. “I know that it wasn’t a race weekend, but it kicked things off. It was just good to be back out on track and back doing what I like doing. Overall, it was a lot like I was expecting – a lot of power and a lot of different features.

“My first experience of a race simulation was not very pleasant, and I struggled on the tyres at first, but that will come with time and I could feel myself getting to grips with it. It’s only one test, but it’s easier to arrive here knowing what to expect from the car.”

More than anything, Petecof says it feels like a huge benefit to have gotten the experience at the Bahrain International Circuit so soon before the opener, having never previously driven on the track.

“To have the test and the race at the same track in such a short period of time helps a lot,” he continued. “If it was in the middle of the season, then arriving at a track that you have never been to is less of an issue.

“In that scenario, you are in the midst of a season and you know the car, you know how everything works. It is different kicking off at a track that you’ve never been too, so the fact that it is now familiar, and that we now have a lot of information from this track, should help a lot.”