Nurburgring: Friday Collective Test report

Danielsson back with a bang! After being involved in two major accidents in Spa-Francorchamps, Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) proved today that he was as fearless as ever. As has often been the case this year, the Swedish driver produced ...

Danielsson back with a bang!

After being involved in two major accidents in Spa-Francorchamps, Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) proved today that he was as fearless as ever. As has often been the case this year, the Swedish driver produced another fine performance in today's collective test session to post the day's best time!

The line-up is limited to 28 Formula Renault 3.5s for this, the sixth weekend of the season: Patrick Pilet and Matteo Meneghello have decided to end their collaboration with GD Racing. At such short notice, the team has not had time to recruit new drivers. "We appreciate that their results have not been as good as they had expected, but their decision is unfair. We'll be back in Donington with two new drivers who are driven by the desire to compete, as well as to win", confided GD Racing team manager Cristiano Giardina.

Two new faces appeared in the pits: first up, Adrian Zaugg, who has switched from Formula Renault 2.0 to 3.5 at Carlin Motorsport. And at Eurointernational, former Spanish F3 driver Marcos Martinez replaces Carlos Iaconelli, who has switched to Comtec Racing.

Since the teams had already spent two days testing at this track at the start of April this year, only two 45-minute sessions were scheduled for today. Four months ago, Ben Hanley (Cram Competition) produced the best time here at the Nurburgring. The British driver happily reminded everyone of that fact by putting himself at the top of the timing monitors in the first session this morning. He jumped ahead of Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), long time holder of the top spot.

At the start of the afternoon session, the Interwetten.com drivers rolled into action. First Andy Soucek, and then Eric Salignon held the fastest lap going into the session's final battle, the period when all the drivers put on new tyres to reveal their true level.

Unfortunately, the final battle never happened. The session came under full yellow with fifteen minutes remaining, after Robbie Kerr (KTR) crashed off the track. The session resumed three minutes before the chequered flag, just as the first drops of rain began to fall on the circuit.

Despite being more than two seconds off the time set by Hanley in April, Alx Danielsson was happy to come out on top today. Totally unaffected by his two accidents in Spa-Francorchamps, the Swedish driver remains optimistic: "I have a little brain but it was like that before last weekend! On a more serious note, I feel okay. My knee hurts a little, but it doesn't affect me when I'm driving. Last weekend was very difficult with two monocoques to change for the team! My goal here is simple: get to the finish! Things haven't gone perfectly today either - this morning, the car broke down on the track and then I had an electrical problem at the start of the second session. But we still had a good setup!"

Second best time, just 22/1000ths back, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) also confirmed his status as collective test specialist: "The most important time to perform will still be tomorrow! We are going to work hard to be on top form in qualifying." His new team-mate Adrian Zaugg was thrilled with his first laps in the FR3.5: "Technically speaking, it's a world away from the FR 2.0. I can't wait to get to grips with this new category. I am grateful to Red Bull for giving me this opportunity."

Adrian's positive first impressions were shared by Marco Martinez: "It's a very different car to the F3. The car's cornering speeds are very impressive. I already feel very settled in the team, but I need to make progress during the weekend."

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Robbie Kerr , Eric Salignon , Matteo Meneghello , Marcos Martinez , Adrian Zaugg , Patrick Pilet , Mikhail Aleshin , Carlos Iaconelli , Andy Soucek , Ben Hanley
Teams Carlin