Hispania team boss Colin Kolles said he was impressed with how quick Giorgio Mondini was in Catalunya testing today considering his long absence from the Formula 1 cockpit.
The 30-year-old from Switzerland was among the test driver lineup at the Kolles-run Midland F1 team in 2006, and also raced for Kolles' Audi squad in the Le Mans Series in 2009 – but has not raced competitively since.
Mondini covered 39 laps this afternoon and was 5sec off the pace. His times could not be compared to Hispania's 2011 race driver Narain Karthikeyan as the Indian, who was 2.5sec slower than Mondini on paper, only ran in wet and damp conditions before handing the car over.
"I was very pleased to see Giorgio driving," Kolles said. "His last time in an F1 car was in 2006 and it was nice to give him the opportunity to drive at this level again. I'm pleased to see he was setting a good pace."
Mondini said the main purpose of the run had been to assess his fitness.
"I'm very happy to have driven today," he said. "It was a test to see if I was still able to drive at this level. It's been two years since I raced competitively and physically I could really feel it. Now we must work on this."
Tonio Liuzzi also tested for Hispania this weekend and expects to know if he has sealed the second seat alongside Karthikeyan early next week.