Jerez tests, Day 3: Mick Schumacher ends first testing on top

German star quickest overall at Jerez de la Frontera

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By Olivier Ferret

28 February 2019 - 16:49
Jerez tests, Day 3: Mick Schumacher (...)

Mick Schumacher set the quickest laptime of today’s – and previous days’ – session: the PREMA Racing ace set a laptime of 1:24.028 this morning to top the timesheet by two tenths over Jack Aitken. Jordan King was quickest in the afternoon session with MP Motorsport.

As soon as the pitlane opened on the third day of the FIA Formula 2 pre-season testing at Jerez de la Frontera, the cars leapt onto the track. Still on top form, Nyck de Vries set the early pace, quickly breaking the 1m25 barrier, whilst Schumacher featured in P2 in a 1:25.327.

The German went top with a laptime already fastest than de Vries’ best in Spain so far. Schumacher further improved by almost 3 tenths on his next push lap to clock in a time of 1:24.277.

But Delétraz also bettered and lapped the track in a 1:24.247 to demote Schumacher. The PREMA racer however was not done yet: he reclaimed the top spot with a time 2 tenths faster than the Swiss’ from Carlin.

Just minutes before the first hour was done and dusted, the proceedings were briefly halted after Sean Gelael stopped between Turns 4 and 5. A second red flag period occurred a few minutes after the re-start courtesy of Nikita Mazepin who span and went wide at Turn 1.

The track went back to green and Aitken found some extra pace to slot into P2 behind Schumacher and ahead of Delétraz. The red flag was waved a third and final time after the German span and stopped on track before the final corner.

The remainder of the session was studious as the teams focused on long runs with Juan Manuel Correa completing the most lap (59) at the chequered flag. Behind the top 3, Nicholas Latifi, de Vries, Dorian Boccolacci, Alesi, Luca Ghiotto, Gelael and Richard Verschoor rounded up the Top 10.

After a one hour break, the action resumed. With a laptime of 1:25.710, Antonio Fuoco sat pretty at the top of the timesheet for the grand majority of the afternoon session. His Trident’s teammate Alesi moved up to P2 (+0.002s) as the field concentrated on short/long runs and pit stop practice.

The running was halted three times throughout the course of the three-hour session: first, after Correa and Aitken stopped simultaneously at two different corners of the track. Mazepin brought out a second red flag after he stopped between Turns 4 and 5. Finally, there was a last interruption for good measures with 30 minutes left on the clock after Alesi stopped at Turn 8.

In the dying minutes, King - who could not run on Day 2 whilst his MP team was still repairing damages on his car following a mechanical failure, stole the top spot with a laptime of 1:25.706. Fuoco and Alesi were relegated to second and third respectively. At the flag, Delétraz was fourth ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita, de Vries, Ghiotto, Tatiana Caldéron, Aitken and Latifi.

This concluded the first pre-season tests at Jerez. The paddock will gather again next week in Barcelona on March 5-6-7 for the second and final test days before Round 1.

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