Christian Lundgaard completed 79 tours of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Day 1 of testing, which were made all the more pleasant by the almost constant presence of his number nine at the top of the leaderboard, with the Danish racer dominating the opening day.
Posting the fastest time of both the morning and the afternoon session, Lundgaard was pleased to put a frustrating opening round at Sakhir behind him, where he finished sixth and second in the Sprint Races, but failed to score any points in the Feature Race.
Having also struggled at Sakhir in the final two rounds of 2020 – scoring just once from four races – Lundgaard was pleased to finally experience a change of scenery from the Bahrain International Circuit, after three rounds and two tests consecutively at the circuit.
“I think that this proves a little that the Bahrain circuit doesn’t suit us very well,” said Lundgaard. “We struggled here (Barcelona) as well last year, so I am quite happy that we have found something. I do feel that we earned performance from the test to the race in Bahrain and I think we have carried that to here.
“We have a better package than we did last year, which is obviously what all teams are aiming for. So far, we have achieved it, but I think there is still more to gain.
“It was actually quite satisfying going down the straight every lap and seeing the number nine on top. My third lap of the day was only half a tenth slower than my fastest, which was still good enough for P1.”
Making his first appearance at Barcelona since the aforementioned struggles there in 2020, where Lundgaard failed to score any points, the ART racer was delighted with the obvious progress made, marking himself as the quickest around the track on the opening day.
In general, Lundgaard has been pretty pleased with his one-lap pace at ART, but says he has still been working towards an improvement in that area in Barcelona, given that Round 2 is Monaco, where Qualifying is typically vital to success.
“I think one lap pace, we have never really suffered, even last year,” said Lundgaard. “Looking at the statistics of quali, I think we were P2 throughout the year, so I think we need to carry that over and go even faster.
“Felipe (Drugovich) looks fast. He looked fast in Bahrain as well, but I don’t think that it’s a secret that the Virtuosi car is very strong on quali pace. We need to beat them because the next round is Monaco.
“It’s never turning the car around, it is fine tuning small things and trying to figure out if they work. We did quite a bit on Day 1, some of it worked, some of it didn’t. In the end, our laptimes in car number nine were quite close. We are here to learn, that’s what testing is for and I think we have achieved that so far.”