Briton quickest in morning session.
The final day of pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit was delayed by twenty minutes for gantry repairs at Turn 13. When the pitlane turned green, cars fed onto a sandy track in windy conditions. Stoffel Vandoorne set the early morning pace before a first short red flag period after Facu Regalia stopped at Turn 19.
At the restart, Jon Lancaster went top with a laptime eight tenths better than Vandoorne’s. It was then Stefano Coletti’s turn to claim top spot, but Johnny Cecotto became the first man to break the 1m50s barrier lapping the track four tenths quicker than the Monegasque driver. Lancaster improved again and headed to the top of the timesheet with a laptime of 1:49.653. A second red flag halted the proceedings thirty minutes before the end of the session after Rene Binder span and stopped at Turn 13. At the chequered flag, and behind Lancaster, Cecotto, Jolyon Palmer, Daniel Abt, Mitch Evans, Vandoorne, Coletti, Alexander Rossi, Raffaele Marciello and Julian Leal rounded out the top ten.
After a one hour break, the pitlane re-opened with Evans and Artem Markelov wasting no time to go back on track. Abt set the early pace. The conditions started degrading as a mini sandstorm arrived. With one hour left on the clock, Cecotto claimed the top spot. The proceedings were halted briefly after Coletti stopped at turn 8 just as some light raindrops made a surprising appearance. The pitlane went green and Evans found some extra pace to clock in a laptime of 1:51.415, but in the dying minutes of the session, Arthur Pic went four tenths quicker to finish the day on top ahead of Evans, Cecotto, Palmer, Abt, Richelmi, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Lancaster, Simon Trummer and Conor Daly.
The GP2 paddock is now headed to Sakhir for the second and final pre-season testing which will take place next week on 19th, 20th and 21st of March at Bahrain International Circuit.