Ferrari Driver Academy protégé dominated both sessions of Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing on Thursday, setting a new track record in the process by crossing the line in 1:38.976 minutes.
Motorsport’s brightest young hopes have been invited to take a seat in the 530bhp Formula Renault 3.5 at Motorland Aragon on 20 November, with each driver being assigned to one of the 13 Formula Renault 3.5 Series teams for a half day of testing. Just as it does every year, Renault Sport Technologies allowed 13 drivers to get a first taste of Formula Renault 3.5. Among others, Formula 3’s best prospects also got the call, namely the first three drivers in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
FIA Formula 3 European Champion Raffaele Marciello, ‘Vice’ Felix Rosenqvist and Alex Lynn who finished third in the championship were offered the chance of testing a Renault single-seater in Spain. The three young talents travelled to the test’s venue right from Macau where Briton Alex Lynn had won the prestigious Macau GP. In the tests, Raffaele Marciello delivered the most impressive performance. On the first day of testing, the Italian was virtually unstoppable and quickly worked his way up to the very top of the time sheets. The Ferrari Driver Academy protégé also dominated both sessions of Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing on Thursday, setting a new track record in the process by crossing the line in 1:38.976 minutes. Alex Lynn finished 13th, on the first day of testing, with Felix Rosenqvist following three places behind, in 16th position.
Afterwards, the 18-year-old was really delighted: “These two days with Strakka Racing have gone really well. The car was good, easy to drive, we didn’t have any problems so it was quite easy to push it to the limit, and that’s what we did with the lap record. I felt very comfortable in the Formula Renault 3.5 vehicle right from the start. I think that this car suits my style of driving really well. The biggest differences compared to an F3 vehicle are the carbon brakes but it didn’t take me a long time to accustom to them. I think that Formula 3 is a great school: not only for Formula Renault 3.5 but for all the tasks to come.”
Rosenqvist came to the following conclusions: “This was my first time in the car and I was really impressed by the brakes. You can really feel them when pressing the brake pedal down at the end of the straight and that’s the big difference between Formula Renault 3.5 and Formula 3. The car is heavier but the driving style is more or less the same.”
In the guise of the World Series by Renault, Renault Sport Technologies offers the most effective driver development programmes and a stepping stone to Formula One. “These tests have become something of a tradition,” said Renault Sport Technologies’ Motorsport Coordinator Benoit Dupont. “They reflect the reality of the driver development programme we are nurturing through the national championships and the World Series by Renault.” Dupont adds: “Formula represents an important step in single-seater racing, too, and it only seems right to us to invite its most outstanding talents to find out what the Formula Renault 3.5 is capable of.”