Roman Stanek is already enjoying the amount of work he has on his plate as he tackles a Formula 2 car for the first time this week. He got his first chance at driving F2 machinery with Trident on Day 1 of post-season testing at Yas Marina.
The Czech driver ended the afternoon session P8 on his maiden outing, a result he is more than happy with ahead of the remaining two days. Stanek was one of several drivers to fight over the top five positions in the final moments of the afternoon session and says that there is plenty more speed to find before the test is over though.
“I’m satisfied with today, it’s just a bit too hot but it was a good day. We have to work on both the Qualifying and the race pace, but we are getting there. It will be hard to improve the last little bit as always, but I'm enjoying it. That's the most important thing. If you don't enjoy something, you should probably look to go elsewhere.”
Alongside Stanek at Trident, old Formula 3 foe Clément Novalak partners him across the garage for all three days. The Frenchman already has a year of experience in F2, and that prior experience is an element Stanek says he is relying upon to learn quickly.
After getting one full day of running under his belt, the 18-year-old says that the differences in handling characteristics is just the start of what he is learning.
“A lot of drivers that have driven F3 and F2 in the past that I’ve asked how the car was, they say it's quite different in how you have to drive. In F2, the car is heavier, it's quite tricky to put the one push lap together. At the moment, we just have to work more on that to improve the pace over a Qualifying lap. Then there is the race mode as well. I’m looking forward to working on that too.
“The weight is a big difference. Also, how the car behaves since it's quite lazy in comparison to F3, especially in the slow sections. To be honest, in the high speed, it feels good feels because there is a lot of downforce working. It feels good to do the first lap and to get through the first day.” Having completed the full F3 season with Trident, Stanek is already familiar with many of the faces he’ll be seeing and working with throughout the three test days.
After building up a working relationship within the team and enjoying the culture of driving for the Italian squad, Stanek says that it has made his job easier than it might have been with a brand-new team.
“I think it does make it easier. Giacomo Ricci, the Trident team manager, he's been there in F3 and is here in F2. We spend a lot of time together so it's kind of easier - you still have to learn the new things though. I’ve been learning the pitstops and how the car works in general today. There is so many things and so much more new stuff to learn, but I think it’s easier when you when know the team.
“I feel good within the team. I’m driving with an Italian team, I love Italy. I love the coffee, the team manager and all of the people are great. I know them already since the beginning of this year through F3. So I think the atmosphere is good.”
Post-season testing resumes at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday at 9AM local time.