Yas Marina Tests, Day 1: Marciello tops first session in Abu Dhabi

Trident driver quickest in opening post-season test day


By Olivier Ferret

30 November 2016 - 18:27
Yas Marina Tests, Day 1: Marciello (...)

Raffaele Marciello set the best laptime in today’s post-season test session at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Italian lapped the track in a 1:49.937 at the wheel of a Trident car during the afternoon session ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita (ART Grand Prix) and Oliver Rowland (DAMS).

The first day of post-season testing opened in hot temperatures just before noon with the twenty-two drivers on Pirelli Medium tyres. Newly crowned GP3 champion Charles Leclerc was the first driver who fed onto the track in his PREMA Racing car, soon followed by the rest of the pack. After a few minutes into the session, all cars had completed at least one installation lap.

The proceedings were briefly red flagged as Luca Ghiotto – who tested today with Rapax – stopped on track at Turn 21. When the session turned green again, Leclerc was the first man to dip under 2m and set a laptime of 1:51.603. But GP3 vice-champion Alexander Albon and former teammate of Leclerc went quickest in a 1:51.347. There was then a second red flag period as Salvatore De Plano spun and stopped at Turn 20. At the restart, Matsushita topped the timesheets and set a laptime of 1:49.483 ahead of Marciello and Artem Markelov.

With one hour left on the clock, the proceedings were once again briefly interrupted as De Plano spun, stopped and continued at Turn 17. From then on, the rest of the session was trouble free. At the chequered flag, the top three remained unchanged. Jordan King, Johnny Cecotto, Rowland, Ghiotto, Sean Gelael, Nicholas Latifi and Gustav Malja rounded up the top ten.

The sun was setting as the action resumed for the afternoon session. Rowland was first on track but it was King who set the early pace in a 1:51.292. However, Marciello found some extra pace to clock a laptime of 1:49.840. He then improved on his own time by 0.135s.

Thirty minutes into the session, Matsushita moved up to P1 and went even quicker than his morning’s best with a laptime of 1:49.307. Rookie Leclerc closed the gap to the Japanese driver but not enough to claim the top spot and went P2. One hour into the session, Marciello sat pretty at the top of the timesheets with a laptime of 1:48.937. Latifi and Johnny Cecotto also improved to move up to second and third respectively.

Halfway through the session, there was a first red flag period courtesy of Gelael who stopped on track at Turn 19. The proceedings were halted once again shortly after the re-start of the session when Antonio Fuoco and Felix Serralles made small contact. After the pitlane re-opened, Matsushita went second fastest with Rowland in third. In the dying minutes, Markelov stopped at Turn 5 prompting one final red flag period which ended the session effectively.

At the chequered flag, Marciello headed Matsushita by 0.17s with Rowland in P3. Latifi, Cecotto, Leclerc, King, Markelov, Ghiotto and Gelael completed the top ten.

Day 2 of testing will open tomorrow at 11.45, local time (GMT+4).

Morning results

1. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:49.483 23
2. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:49.767 7
3. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:49.892 19
4. Jordan King RUSSIAN TIME 1:50.272 18
5. Johnny Cecotto Rapax 1:50.411 12
6. Oliver Rowland DAMS 1:50.550 11
7. Luca Ghiotto Rapax 1:50.593 16
8. Sean Gelael Arden International 1:50.594 14
9. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:50.635 9
10. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1:50.763 18
11. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 1:50.922 21
12. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 1:50.940 31
13. Alex Palou Pertamina Campos Racing 1:50.942 20
14. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 1:50.958 30
15. Antonio Giovinazzi Arden International 1:51.033 18
16. Egor Orudzhev Pertamina Campos Racing 1:51.050 25
17. Philo Paz Armand Trident 1:51.269 23
18. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1:51.277 27
19. Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 1:51.509 23
20. Mahaveer Raghunathan Carlin 1:54.075 26
21. Felix Serralles Carlin 1:54.249 8
22. Salvatore De Plano MP Motorsport 1:58.844 23

Afternoon results*

1. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:48.937 23
2. Oliver Rowland DAMS 1:49.182 20
3. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:49.247 26
4. Johnny Cecotto Rapax 1:49.247 13
5. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 1:49.265 30
6. Jordan King RUSSIAN TIME 1:49.348 19
7. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:49.426 24
8. Luca Ghiotto Rapax 1:49.467 20
9. Sean Gelael Arden International 1:49.709 28
10. Antonio Giovinazzi Arden International 1:49.813 27
11. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 1:49.854 28
12. Alex Palou Pertamina Campos Racing 1:49.870 33
13. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1:49.945 31
14. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1:49.947 23
15. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 1:50.046 27
16. Philo Paz Armand Trident 1:50.187 31
17. Egor Orudzhev Pertamina Campos Racing 1:50.582 30
18. Felix Serralles Carlin 1:51.656 26
19. Mahaveer Raghunathan Carlin 1:52.425 23
20. Salvatore Deplano MP Motorsport 1:55.584 22

*Cars 1 (Matsushita) and 22 (Camara) disqualified – Found underweight



Motorsport news