Yas Marina, Tests: Matsushita tops Day 1

Japanese driver quickest in opening post-season test day

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By Olivier Ferret

2 December 2015 - 18:59

Nobuharu Matsushita dominated day 1 of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit: the Japanese ace set the quickest laptime of both sessions at the wheel of his ART Grand Prix car. Nicholas Latifi and Pierre Gasly completed the top 3.

Day 1 of post-season testing opened this morning with the twenty-four drivers on Pirelli Medium tyres. After a series of installation laps; thirty minutes into the session, Matsushita set the best laptime in a 1:49.180, three tenths quicker than teammate Oliver Rowland. Alex Lynn moved up to P2 on the one hour mark with Norman Nato also able to improve enough to edge out Rowland from P3.

The proceedings were briefly red flagged to collect some debris after Campos’ Sean Gelael clipped the barrier at turn 19. The Indonesian driver was able to re-join the pits. The rest of the session ran smoothly until the chequered flag and Matsushita’s laptime remained unchallenged. Behind the top three, Rowland, Pierre Gasly (on newcomers PREMA Racing’s car), Nicholas Latifi (DAMS), Tio Ellinas (RUSSIAN TIME), André Negrao (Rapax), Richie Stanaway (Carlin), and Nick Yelloly (MP Motorsport) completed the top ten.

It was night time when the pitlane went green again. Jordan King set the early pace, but Matsushita returned to P1 with a 1:48.909 - four tenths better than his teammate Rowland who moved up to P2. The Brit then found some extra pace reducing the gap to the Japanese, but not enough to claim the top spot.

Thirty minutes into the session, Stanaway moved up to P1 with a laptime one tenth better than Matsushita, but Latifi edged the Kiwi out with a laptime of a 1:48.418. Gasly also improved and moved up to P2 whilst Yelloly climbed up to P3. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Matsushita put his down and dipped under 1m48s setting a laptime half a second better than Latifi.

At the chequered flag, Gasly finished third ahead of Rowland, Artem Markelov, Yelloly, Nato, Stanaway, Dean Stoneman (Carlin) and Negrao.

Tomorrow’s session will start at 12.00 and will run until 14.30. The proceedings will resume at 18.00 and will end at 20.30.

Morning results

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:49.180 25
2. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:49.304 9
3. Norman Nato Arden International 1:49.479 17
4. Oliver Rowland ART Grand Prix 1:49.501 12
5. Pierre Gasly PREMA Racing 1:49.508 16
6. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:49.792 15
7. Tio Ellinas RUSSIAN TIME 1:49.816 27
8. André Negrao Rapax 1:49.821 18
9. Richie Stanaway Carlin 1:49.837 17
10. Nick Yelloly MP Motorsport 1:50.067 23
11. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:50.078 20
12. Sergey Sirotkin Racing Engineering 1:50.200 15
13. Dean Stoneman Carlin 1:50.244 18
14. Felix Rosenqvist Status Grand Prix 1:50.264 21
15. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:50.429 21
16. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:50.543 23
17. Jimmy Eriksson Trident 1:50.739 20
18. Pascal Wehrlein PREMA Racing 1:51.022 18
19. Gustav Malja Arden International 1:51.032 23
20. Konstantin Tereshchenko Campos Racing 1:51.257 17
21. Alex Fontana Rapax 1:51.309 16
22. Richard Gonda MP Motorsport 1:51.745 25
23 Sean Gelael Campos Racing 1:52.340 7
24. Philo Armand Status Grand Prix 1:54.167 20

Afternoon results

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:47.903 29
2. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:48.418 35
3. Pierre Gasly PREMA Racing 1:48.437 23
4. Oliver Rowland ART Grand Prix 1:48.454 30
5. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:48.581 18
6. Nick Yelloly MP Motorsport 1:48.744 10
7. Norman Nato Arden International 1:48.780 27
8. Richie Stanaway Carlin 1:48.791 23
9. Dean Stoneman Carlin 1:48.865 25
10. André Negrao Rapax 1:48.875 25
11. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:48.943 29
12. Tio Ellinas RUSSIAN TIME 1:48.997 35
13. Felix Rosenqvist Status Grand Prix 1:49.165 29
14. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:49.213 26
15. Sergey Sirotkin Racing Engineering 1:49.223 32
16. Gustav Malja Arden International 1:49.423 29
17. Alex Fontana Rapax 1:49.747 35
18. Pascal Wehrlein PREMA Racing 1:50.030 17
19. Jimmy Eriksson Trident 1:50.110 32
20. Sean Gelael Campos Racing 1:50.491 34
21. Richard Gonda MP Motorsport 1:50.536 27
22. Philo Armand Status Grand Prix 1:51.558 27
23. Konstantin Tereshchenko Campos Racing 1:51.607 5
24. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:52.515 29

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