Louis Delétraz tops Day 1 at Yas Marina

Swiss driver sets fastest laptime in opening day of post-season testing

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By Olivier Ferret

29 November 2018 - 17:22

Louis Delétraz set the best laptime overall with reigning Champions Carlin in today’s Day 1 of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Swiss driver is the only man today who has dipped under 1m50s; he lapped the track in a 1:49.984 this evening to top the timesheet ahead of RUSSIAN TIME’s Luca Ghiotto and rookie Callum Ilott with Charouz Racing System.

As soon as the pitlane opened this morning all twenty cars dove onto the track with Juan Manuel Correa (MP Motorsport) the first man to set a time. ART’s Nyck De Vries went top in the first 30 minutes with a laptime of 1:51.311 ahead of GP3 graduates Ilott and Ryan Tveter (Trident). F2 returnee Nobuharu Matsushita rapidly found a good pace with his 2019 Carlin car to move up to P2 in the timesheet just before Nicholas Latifi broke the 1m51s barrier and lapped the track in a 1:50.910, enough to claim the top spot.

De Vries also improved on his personal best to dip under 1m51s, but he ended 2 hundredths slower than Latifi. In the final hour, Ghiotto went P1 in a 1:50.562 – a time that no one could beat until the end of the session. The proceedings were halted briefly with 30 minutes left on the clock after De Vries stopped on track at Turn 11.

At the chequered flag, Ghiotto led Latifi, De Vries, Tveter, Matsushita, Sergio Sette Câmara, Ilott, Anthoine Hubert, Leonardo Pulcini and Delétraz.

2018 GP3 Champion Hubert set the early pace in the evening session until Sette Câmara went quickest in a 1:50.814. De Vries also improved to go top with a laptime 4 tenths better than the Brazilian’s.

As the sun slowly set above the circuit, Latifi completed a flyer to go quickest in a 1:50.327 but the session was soon red flagged following a technical issue with the lighting system. After this was fixed, the action resumed and the session was extended by the amount of time lost. Delétraz put his head down and went top in a 1:50.089.

The proceedings were halted once more courtesy of Thomas Laurent: the Frenchman stopped at Turn 16. The remainder of the session was studious. Delétraz found some extra pace to break the 1m50s barrier and clocked in a laptime of a 1:49.984 with one hour and thirty minutes left in the day.

At the chequered flag, Delétraz remained P1 ahead of Ghiotto, Ilott, Latifi, De Vries, Tatiana Caldéron, Sette Câmara, Matsushita, Sean Gelael, and Correa.

Day 2 will start at 11.45, local time.

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