Photo: Renault Sport
Fortec driver Stoffel Vandoorne has topped the timesheets in both the morning and the afternoon session of the first day of pre-season testing for the Formula Renault 3.5 series at Aragon.
It’s a pretty safe bet, though, that most of the drivers did not get to show their true pace, as both sessions took place in mixed weather conditions, with the track severely drying out throughout.
In the morning session, Danes Kevin Magnussen and Marco Sorensen fought for an early lead, before ex-GP2 driver Tom Dillmann put his name on top of the leaderboards with improving conditions. As the session went on, it was Daniil Move who seemed to be quickest, trading fastest laps with Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar, before being beaten by Vandoorne as the checkered flag went out. Draco’s Nico Muller finished the morning in second, ahead of Move, Antonio Felix da Costa and Dillmann. Oliver Webb posted the sixth time on his return to European racing, with Pietro Fantin, Zoel Amberg, Jaafar and Lucas Foresti completing the top ten, as all of them went out for runs very late in the session.
The track was empty for about an hour following the start of the afternoon session, as teams saw no reason to go out in the wet conditions. Finally, as the weather improved, it was Move who took an early lead in the timesheets and kept it for most of the session. With about twenty minutes to go, as the day’s first red flag was brought out by Norman Nato, Vandoorne, yet again, rose to the top and proceeded to deliver a sequence of quick laps. Felix da Costa ended the day in second, ahead of Move and Muller, both of whom seemed to strive in the conditions. P1 Motorsport’s Will Stevens was fifth, ahead of Andre Negrao, Fantin, Matias Laine, Nato and Dillmann.
Apart from the second seat at ISR (occupied during the testing by Dillmann), the only remaining vacancies in the series are at Zeta Corse, with Mihai Marinescu and Daniel Zampieri testing for them today. Marinescu, experiencing a gearbox failure that brought out a red flag in the very end of the afternoon session, will continue with the team tomorrow, while Zampieri will give up his car to Christopher Zanella.
|4.||Antonio Felix da Costa||Arden Caterham||1:41.739||+1.074||18|
|7.||Pietro Fantin||Arden Caterham||1:42.316||+1.651||44|
|8.||Zoel Amberg||Pons Racing||1:42.513||+1.848||35|
|12.||Nikolay Martsenko||Pons Racing||1:43.398||+2.733||45|
|13.||Daniel Zampieri||Zeta Corse||1:43.834||+3.169||34|
|14.||Mihai Marinescu||Zeta Corse||1:44.264||+3.599||30|
|15.||Arthur Pic||AV Formula||1:49.500||+8.835||33|
|19.||Mikhail Aleshin||Tech 1 Racing||1:54.064||+13.399||35|
|20.||Will Stevens||P1 Motorsport||1:54.870||+14.205||22|
|22.||Nigel Melker||Tech 1 Racing||1:55.677||+15.012||25|
|25.||Matias Laine||P1 Motorsport||1:58.118||+17.453||23|
|26.||Yahn Cunha||AV Formula||1:58.413||+17.748||35|
|2.||Antonio Felix da Costa||Arden Caterham||1:40.055||+0.142||26|
|5.||Will Stevens||P1 Motorsport||1:40.325||+0.412||31|
|7.||Pietro Fantin||Arden Caterham||1:40.724||+0.811||26|
|8.||Matias Laine||P1 Motorsport||1:40.731||+0.818||23|
|14.||Nikolay Martsenko||Pons Racing||1:41.174||+1.261||39|
|15.||Zoel Amberg||Pons Racing||1:41.176||+1.263||22|
|19.||Mikhail Aleshin||Tech 1 Racing||1:41.460||+1.547||20|
|21.||Nigel Melker||Tech 1 Racing||1:41.752||+1.839||22|
|22.||Mihai Marinescu||Zeta Corse||1:42.567||+2.654||26|
|23.||Arthur Pic||AV Formula||1:42.790||+2.877||16|
|24.||Yahn Cunha||AV Formula||1:42.950||+3.037||18|
|26.||Daniel Zampieri||Zeta Corse||1:43.304||+3.391||22|