Yas Marina, FP: Vandoorne on top in free practice

Belgian leads the way in Abu Dhabi

By Franck Drui

21 November 2014 - 09:51
Yas Marina, FP: Vandoorne on top (...)

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne’s push for second in the Series got underway with a strong performance in the heat of the free practice session this morning in Abu Dhabi, setting the pace ahead of his rivals and narrowly leading home Stéphane Richelmi and Arthur Pic.

The Belgian set the best time of 1:50.437 two thirds of the way through the session, edging past Richelmi by less than a tenth in a torrid session which saw the times tumble as the drivers pushed for any advantage they could find to put to use this afternoon.

The top spot changed constantly, with Johnny Cecotto, Raffaele Marciello, 2015 Sauber driver Felipe Nasr and Series champion Jolyon Palmer all taking a turn at the top of the timesheets before Vandoorne claimed it for himself 15 minutes in: after returning to the pits for fresh rubber Palmer and Richelmi went faster still but the Belgian was not to be denied, reclaiming bragging rights with a time which could not be beaten.

While most drivers went wide somewhere as they pushed the limits, no one damaged their cars with qualifying just a few hours away: behind the top three Palmer, Cecotto, Nasr, Marciello, Pierre Gasly, Stefano Coletti and Mitch Evans rounded out an incredibly close top ten, with all aiming for the top spot this afternoon.

1. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:50.437 16
2. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:50.512 20
3. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:50.548 17
4. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:50.760 19
5. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:50.855 20
6. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:50.911 20
7. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:51.012 18
8. Pierre Gasly Caterham Racing 1:51.032 19
9. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:51.122 18
10. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:51.137 12
11. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:51.187 18
12. Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1:51.401 17
13. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:51.402 20
14. Rio Haryanto Caterham Racing 1:51.427 18
15. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:51.442 18
16. Julian Leal Carlin 1:51.464 19
17. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:51.542 18
18. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:51.658 17
19. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:51.772 11
20. André Negrao Arden International 1:51.931 11
21. Rene Binder Arden International 1:52.006 20
22. Nicholas Latifi Hilmer Motorsport 1:52.185 21
23. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:52,321 15
24. Kevin Giovesi Rapax 1:52.330 20
25. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:52.514 8
26. Simon Trummer Rapax 2:04.662 7



Motorsport news