Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) was the fastest man in Friday’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The championship leader ended the morning in front of Sergey Sirotkin (ISR) and Norman Nato (DAMS), and repeated the trick in the afternoon, leading home the field from Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports).

Conditions were perfect for the day’s opening Formula Renault 3.5 Series testing session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports) and Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) were the first to show before Arthur Pic (AV Formula) laid down the gauntlet. Marco Sorensen (Lotus) picked it up, eclipsing the Frenchman with 12 minutes remaining.

Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing) then took his turn at the top of the timesheets with six minutes to go, which was time enough for Kevin Magnussen to beat everyone with a lap of 1:30.730, the Dane ending the morning ahead of Sergey Sirotkin (ISR), Norman Nato (DAMS), Stoffel Vandoorne and Will Stevens.

Christopher Zanella (ISR) set the early pace in the afternoon, with Daniil Move (SMP Racing by Comtec) matching the Swiss a few minutes later and Will Stevens, William Buller (Zeta Corse) and Oliver Webb (Fortec Motorsports) then taking turns as the fastest man on the track.

In a hectic finale Daniil Move moved back out in front before Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens traded fastest laps, with the Dane having the final word by clocking a time of 1:30.877, giving him top spot from Will Stevens and his title rival Stoffel Vandoorne. Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Arthur Pic (AV Formula) were the other men in the top five.

Kevin Magnussen: “It’s looking good. It’s not easy to get an idea of where you are after testing, but the performance of the car was good and there are a number of areas where we can get even better. We’ll go on the attack this weekend, just like we always do, and after the day we’ve had today I’m feeling positive.”

Sergey Sirotkin: “The morning went better than the afternoon. We’ve identified things that weren’t working and we’ve made progress. We’re expecting to be up there with the leaders. We found some pace with the used tyres right from the start, without really looking for performance. The aim today was to improve the set-up and I can’t wait for tomorrow to come around.”

Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s been a good day. We didn’t put the new tyres on and we still managed to be up there with the leaders. We concentrated on our race preparation in the afternoon. There was a big difference with the used tyres and it wasn’t easy. We need to put some work in to close the gap on Magnussen.”

WSR