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Daruvala tops delayed first day of F2 testing at Bahrain

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Jehan Daruvala led Carlin team-mate Dan Ticktum at the top of the times on the first day of Formula 2’s post-season Bahrain test.

A lack of fire marshals present at the circuit meant the start of the test was delayed from 0900 local time to 1330, and with on-track action reduced from two three-hour sessions to a single five-hour period.

Prema’s FIA Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri was the first to a set a sub-2m00s lap, but it wasn’t until 15 minutes in that a driver set a flying lap.

This honour went to Piastri’s F3 title rival Logan Sargeant, driving for Campos Racing, with F2 title runner-up Callum Ilott getting closest for his 2019 team Charouz Racing System before the first red flag of the day.

Action was back underway at the 40-minute mark, at which point MP Motorsport’s F3 graduate Lirim Zendeli went top. He was quickly bettered by Ilott, whose first place was then protected by another red flag stoppage.

Zendeli’s team-mate Louis Deletraz went second fastest shortly after the restart, a position he held for a quarter of an hour before Daruvala rose up to second.

Daruvala – switching to Carlin’s #7 car raced by Yuki Tsunoda this season – and Ticktum improved to go one-two before the third red flag of the session.

Approaching the middle of the day’s running, Piastri returned to the top, and it was only after that did Hitech GP’s Red Bull juniors Juri Vips and Liam Lawson go for their first flying laps.

Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou waited even longer, only lapping at speed after three hours, and his new team-mate Felipe Drugovich remained half a minute off the pace until his first effort an hour after that.

Between then there was another red flag, with Deletraz going fastest just before the flags were flown.

In the final hour the laptimes started to drop, and Daruvala and Ticktum made their way back to the top.

There was a final red flag with 20 minutes to go, and the interruption meant there were scant improvements in the final few minutes. Carlin’s drivers remained at the top, while Drugovich and ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard jumped into the bottom spots within the top 10.

Piastri ended up as the top debutant in fifth, outpacing Ilott, while ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi was 2.331 seconds off the pace for HWA Racelab in 21st place.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m41.848s 52
2 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1m41.954s +0.106s 51
3 Louis Deletraz MP Motorsport 1m42.251s +0.403s 43
4 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m42.253s +0.405s 46
5 Oscar Piastri Prema 1m42.424s +0.576s 44
6 Callum Ilott Charou 1m42.450s +0.602s 46
7 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m42.480s +0.632s 53
8 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing 1m42.520s +0.672s 60
9 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi Racing 1m42.718s +0.870s 57
10 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m42.856s +1.008s 53
11 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 1m42.879s +1.031s 50
12 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1m42.907s +1.059s 55
13 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m42.972s +1.124s 43
14 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1m43.018s +1.170s 42
15 Clement Novalak Trident 1m43.049s +1.201s 35
16 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m43.075s +1.227s 55
17 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m43.078s +1.230s 50
18 Logan Sargeant Campos Racing 1m43.137s +1.289s 47
19 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1m43.309s +1.461s 43
20 Matteo Nannini HWA Racelab 1m43.497s +1.649s 41
21 Roberto Merhi HWA Racelab 1m44.179s +2.331s 33
22 Marino Sato Trident 1m44.428s +2.580s 39