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Webber helps unveil new GP3 car to the media 18 Nov 2009

Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, test drives the new GP3 Series car. GP3 Series Launch, Paul Ricard, France, Tuesday 17 November 2009. © GP3 Series Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, test drives the new GP3 Series car. GP3 Series Launch, Paul Ricard, France, Tuesday 17 November 2009. © GP3 Series Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, test drives the new GP3 Series car. GP3 Series Launch, Paul Ricard, France, Tuesday 17 November 2009. © GP3 Series

The GP3 Series kicks off next season as a new support event at Grand Prix weekends and Red Bull’s Mark Webber was at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on Tuesday to give international media and the ten GP3 teams their first taste of the new car.

The standardised single-seater machine is built by Dallara and powered by a turbo engine developed by the Renault Formula One team. Transmission is by Hewland and tyres for the GP2 feeder event will be supplied by Pirelli.

“I have been pleasantly surprised by the new GP3 car,” said Webber after completing 19 laps of Paul Ricard’s 3A configuration. “It’s my first experience driving the car and I can honestly say it is like driving a small F1 car. A lot of the aspects are what I am already used to, but obviously on a smaller, more junior scale, for example the car has a full paddle-shift gearbox and clutch system.

“The biggest advantage for this championship has to be racing at the Formula One race weekends. This will give drivers great exposure, and for sure all of the team bosses will be watching. Overall I think it is a great car I am very impressed by the whole package, and I am looking forward to the first race next season.”

Webber has more than just a passing interest in the new series. In partnership with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner's Arden organisation, the Australian driver has entered a team, MW Arden.

“Christian was interested in taking part in the series and approached me,” explained Webber. “ I’m not at the beginning of the F1 career so it was a logical step for me.”