Yas Marina Tests, Day 1: Marciello tops first session in Abu Dhabi
Trident driver quickest in opening post-season test day
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).
|1.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||1:49.483||23|
|3.||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1:49.892||19|
|4.||Jordan King||RUSSIAN TIME||1:50.272||18|
|8.||Sean Gelael||Arden International||1:50.594||14|
|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|
|22.||Salvatore De Plano||MP Motorsport||1:58.844||23|
|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|
|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|
|20.||Salvatore Deplano||MP Motorsport||1:55.584||22|
*Cars 1 (Matsushita) and 22 (Camara) disqualified – Found underweight