Good practice for Tech 1 Tech 1 Racing saw its two drivers secure a one-two result for the team in this morning's free practice session at the Monza circuit. For once, however, it was the rookie Julien Jousse who finished ahead of his teammate...
Good practice for Tech 1
Tech 1 Racing saw its two drivers secure a one-two result for the team in this morning's free practice session at the Monza circuit. For once, however, it was the rookie Julien Jousse who finished ahead of his teammate Alvaro Parente. Quickest in yesterday's collective testing, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) confirmed his good form with the session's third best time. With nineteen cars separated by less than a second, the pecking order is however far from determined.
With only a 45-minute free practice session today, the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 drivers had one final chance to validate their setups ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session.
In order to test their cars in conditions close to those they will encounter in qualifying, the majority of the teams opted to put on a set of new tyres as soon as the session got underway. The favourites dominated once again: Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing), Filipe Albuquerque and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) monopolized the top four spots, taking it in turns to hold the best time.
Parente ended up having the final say after the first run with a lap of 1'36''363, just 4/10ths off the lap record set yesterday afternoon by Aleshin.
With seven or eight laps completed, the performance of the tyres began to tail off and the drivers were unable to improve upon their times. One after another, the single-seaters headed into the pits to allow the mechanics to adjust the setup and -- for some -- to put on a new set of tyres.
Shortly after the session's half-way stage, Aleshin improved on Parente's time with a lap of 1'36''147. Ben Hanley (Prema Power Team) and Giedo van der Garde (Victory Engineering), both subdued yesterday, finally moved up into the leading group.
With 34 minutes gone, Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) crashed out due to a brake problem. At the same time, Clivio Piccione (RC Motorsport) span off. With a large part of the track affected, the session was yellow-flagged.
When the session restarted, Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) produced the surprise of the day by claiming the best time with a lap of 1'35''990: "This result carries on nicely from the progress we made yesterday. I missed the first few minutes because we had to carry out the usual checks after having changed the engine. I didn't have my times on the instrument panel, but I just went for it anyway and managed to put together my best three split times. I'll have to do the same thing tomorrow!" The French team had a great day, as Parente then improved his time in the closing minutes, moving up to second spot.
Behind Aleshin, Marco Bonanomi (RC Motorsport) was once again the best-placed Italian: "We tried several different aerodynamic setups and I only put on one set of new tyres. We haven't really moved up the rankings in comparison to yesterday but I think we will be there or thereabouts tomorrow."
After having had a hard time of it yesterday with an engine problem and having crashed off the track, the spirits of Guillaume Moreau (KTR) were raised again, with the day's fifth best time.