The FIA Formula Two Championship came to Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, for its first pre-season test today (22 March), and 22 drivers were present to take part. 20-year-old Briton Alex Brundle recorded the fastest time of the day in the afternoon's overboost-enabled session, finishing three tenths of a second clear of the field. Brundle was also impressive in the morning, finishing second behind countryman Jack Clarke.
"It's always nice to be on top and now we've just got to stay there," said Brundle. "I'm not getting complacent by any means and I've got to keep pushing at the Snetterton test (next Wednesday). We had a decent race car at the end there today and I pulled it out the bag a bit on the lap but I still need to build more consistency. It's a great car to drive on new tyres and I really enjoyed the session."
In addition to the drivers already announced for the 2011 championship, a number that have previously raced in F2 also took part, including regular 2010 points scorer Mihai Marinescu and female racer Natalia Kowalska. Marinescu's pace was particularly strong, the Romanian finishing top in the afternoon's penultimate session and third fastest overall - just behind Spaniard Miki Monras. Julian Theobald, Johannes Theobald and Ramon Piñeiro, who each contested part-seasons in 2010, also tested today along with F2 newcomers James Cole, Jose Luis Abadin and Sunghak Mun. Spain's Ramon Piñeiro caught the eye by finishing inside the top 5 in every session.
Mikkel Mac and Jukka Honkavuori, who took part in F2 winter testing at the end of last year, were also at Silverstone.
Tom Gladdis was forced to skip the test as he continues to recover from a serious foot injury, though he hopes to be fit in time for Snetterton, the final pre-season test, next Wednesday. Russia's Alexey Karachev was also due to attend but had to withdraw following a delay in his visa application.
The next pre-season F2 test will take place on the new Snetterton 300 circuit on Wednesday 30 March.
-source: formula 2