Brendon Hartley is in a good place at P1
With rain in the morning, followed by some dry track in the afternoon, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series teams once again had to work with the changeable conditions here in Barcelona today. Those drivers familiar with Formula Renault 3.5 duly took their chance to regain the upper hand. Anton Nebilitskiy (KMP Racing) in the morning session, then Brendon Hartley (P1 Motorsport) in the afternoon proved themselves to be quickest. The action resumes again on Monday in Motorland Aragon for another three days of collective testing.
As yesterday, the track was damp when the second day of collective testing got underway here in Barcelona. Today, Daniel de Jong, having been at the heart of the action in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, put in his first laps in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, with International Draco Racing. For his part, Nathanael Berthon joined forces with Tech 1 Racing and Giovanni Venturini was with Junior Lotus Racing. Sergio Canamasas took his chance to try his hand the wheel of one of Epsilon Euskadi's cars, while Daniel Zampieri switched Fortec Motorsport and Daniil Move to ISR.
In the rain, Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) put in a series of laps at the start of the morning. He clocked fastest during the first hour, but Anton Nebilitskiy and Daniel Zampieri then took over at the top of the timing sheets. The track started to dry out gradually, but the drivers had to wait until the last twenty minutes of the session before they were able to move onto slick tyres. Anton Nebilitskiy was the first to take the gamble. The Russian was significantly quicker and others were quick to follow suit. Daniel Zampieri, Nathanael Berthon and Brendon Hartley were all in the hunt for the lead spot, but Anton Nebilitskiy managed to outdo them all with his final lap in 1'35''668.
In the end, the situation turned out much the same as yesterday. After a morning of wet conditions, the track dried out completely in the afternoon. Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs made the most of moving onto fresh rubber at a very early stage in the game to take control of the session, with the English driver putting in a lap in 1'34''032, ahead of the Malaysian. Alexander Rossi then ushered in the final hour of these two days of collective testing with a lap in 1'33''806.
After having spent a lot of time working on development, the drivers devoted this final hour of the session to going after the fastest time. Daniel Zampieri put in the fastest lap in 1'33''709 while Albert Costa returned to the forefront of proceedings. Brendon Hartley then took his turn to switch to fresh rubber, for one flying lap, which he completed in 1'32''820. One last red flag, shown as a result of an incident involving Jazeman Jaafar, brought these two days of testing to a close, with many drivers still with a set of new tyres at their disposal. Brendon Hartley thus goes away from Barcelona with the fastest time. He was quicker than Alexander Rossi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who both confirmed their good form from yesterday.
Brendon Hartley: "We had our work cut out for us here. P1 Motorsport lost all of its data last year in a fire. So my first task was to try out a whole range of things to rebuild their database. We will have to do the same thing in Motorland Aragon. In the end I only managed to get one quick lap in... I feel good at P1 Motorsport and the work we are doing together is very constructive. I'm still lacking a little bit in terms of budget, but the ideal thing would be for me to return with them next season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series."
Mirko Bortolotti: "We have put a lot of work in over the last couple of days. This is the team's first track time so we're exploring a wide range of settings. We have been making constant progress and the varied conditions have been a very good thing for us. Unfortunately, I ran slightly wide and ran off the track at the end of this morning's session. My objective is to be in on the action in 2011, though I don't know with which team yet."
Giovanni Venturini: "I like this car and I very quickly felt at home behind the wheel. Yesterday, I put in some track time with Epsilon Euskadi. Albert Costa gave me a lot of advice. At Junior Lotus Racing, the approach is different. So it's interesting to be able to compare two teams. I want to make the move up, so if I can raise the necessary budget, I hope to be taking part in Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2011."
-source: reanult sport