Abu Dhabi F2 tests, Day 1: Delétraz fastest on Day 1 of post-season testing

Charouz driver on top ahead of ART duo Armstrong and Lundgaard


By Olivier Ferret

5 December 2019 - 15:15
Abu Dhabi F2 tests, Day 1: Delétraz (...)

Testing out Charouz machinery, Louis Delétraz set the fastest time of the first day of post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, posting 1:50.543 with less than a minute of the afternoon session to go. The Swiss racer finished ahead of ART Grand Prix duo Marcus Armstrong and Christian Lundgaard, who made the jump up from Formula 3.

The new look F2 field set off around the Yas Marina Circuit in sunny conditions on Thursday morning, with a variety of new testers, and confirmed 2020 drivers on show for the first time. Armstrong’s first F2 outing didn’t quite go to plan to begin with, as the ART man came to a halt on his installation lap.

When the session got back underway, Felipe Drugovich was the first to run a fast time, setting 2:12.921 on his maiden stint in the MP Motorsport machine. Delétraz quickly displayed his experience, as he broke the 2m barrier and set the standard at 1:51.080, in the Charouz.

Mick Schumacher will be eyeing further improvement in 2020, having adjusted steadily to F2 machinery in his rookie season. The PREMA ace got off on the right foot in post-season testing, as he climbed to the top of the early timings. The German led a tight front three, with himself, Delétraz and Nikita Mazepin separated by less than a tenth.

The German’s time of 1:50.947 wouldn’t be beaten in the morning, as the teams switched their attentions to long runs, getting in 517 laps between them. Following Schumacher in the top 10 was Delétraz, Mazepin, Guanyu Zhou, Sean Gelael, Luca Ghiotto, Callum Ilott, Artem Markelov, Dan Ticktum and Niko Kari.

Campos Racing were the first team to return to the track for the afternoon stint, as Kari set the early bench mark. Delétraz followed in second, as he continued his testing form. The Swiss driver’s Charouz stablemate Pedro Piquet leapfrogged the pair of them shortly after for P1, as he grew accustomed to his faster, more powerful machinery.

That was until ART Grand Prix flexed their muscles. The Championship winning outfit stole control of second half of the session, as Lundgaard and Armstrong went first and second with 1:50.923 and 1:51:180.

Felipe Drugovich and Mahaveer Raghunathan both brought brief halts to the running, as the duo stopped on track during the afternoon. Little changed in between as focus shifted back onto to getting laps under their belts.

Armstrong swapped places with his ART teammate, as the Ferrari F1 junior posted a time just over a tenth quicker. The Kiwi looked to have wrapped up the day, before Delétraz’s final lap of the afternoon shifted control. With less than a minute remaining, the Swiss ace stormed around the Yas Marina Circuit 0.255s faster and stole P1.

Joining Delétraz in the top 10 was Armstrong, Lundgaard, Schumacher, Markelov, Piquet, Ticktum, Gelael, Shwartzman and Giuliano Alesi. The field will get another opportunity to test out their machinery at 9am tomorrow (local time).

Morning session

1 Mick Schumacher PREMA Racing 1:50.947 32
2 Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:50.958 18
3 Nikita Mazepin Carlin 1:51.034 22
4 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1:51.178 26
5 Sean Gelael DAMS 1:51.449 31
6 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:51.570 27
7 Callum Ilott UNI-Virtuosi 1:51.585 18
8 Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB 1:51.626 19
9 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1:51.692 28
10 Niko Kari Campos Racing 1:51.963 28
11 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 1:52.021 33
12 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:52.077 32
13 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1:52.155 27
14 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1:52.281 30
15 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 1:52.448 32
16 Marino Sato Trident 1:52.516 28
17 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1:52.653 22
18 Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB 1:52.721 23
19 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1:53.505 22
20 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 1:53.540 19

Afternoon session

1 Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:50.543 49
2 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1:50.798 28
3 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:50.923 28
4 Mick Schumacher PREMA Racing 1:50.966 28
5 Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB 1:51.523 26
6 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 1:51.685 33
7 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1:51.724 35
8 Sean Gelael DAMS 1:51.840 39
9 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 1:51.977 28
10 Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB 1:52.091 35
11 Niko Kari Campos Racing 1:52.117 25
12 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1:52.467 24
13 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1:52.796 35
14 Roy Nissany Trident 1:52.881 25
15 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 1:54.082 15
16 Nikita Mazepin Carlin 1:55.393 33
17 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1:55.786 33
18 Callum Ilott UNI-Virtuosi 1:56.396 44
19 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1:56.629 22
20 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:56.789 23


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