Watch out for the Rookies! The Rookie drivers demonstrated today on the Jerez de la Frontera track that they will be a force to be reckoned with in this season's Formula Renault 3.5 Series. It was Sten Pentus (Fortec Motorsport) who claimed the...
Watch out for the Rookies!
The Rookie drivers demonstrated today on the Jerez de la Frontera track that they will be a force to be reckoned with in this season's Formula Renault 3.5 Series. It was Sten Pentus (Fortec Motorsport) who claimed the best time of the morning, while the afternoon session was dominated by Daniel Zampieri (Pons Racing), Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) and Nelson Panciatici (Junior Lotus Racing). Testing continues tomorrow, Sunday.
Today was the first of two more days' preparation for the 2010 season, this time at the Jerez circuit. In the Carlin team, with Jake Rosenzweig held up by a race, Alexander Sims took over his seat. The American driver will resume service for the next round of collective testing, at Motorland Aragon, to get ready for his first season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
Other changes saw William Buller joining team Fortec and Sergio Canamasas in a seat over at ISR. A hand injury picked up in Barcelona meant Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) had to pull out after only a few laps. The 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion reported feeling some pain still and prefers not to take any risks with the injury. Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) too, also carrying a hand injury from a bicycle accident, preferred to throw in the towel after a single lap. The Australian is replaced for the two days by Julien Jousse, 2008 runner-up in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Meanwhile, Red Bull F1 reserve driver Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) was on duty in Bahrain but is set to be back to join the second day of collective testing tomorrow.
The Jerez sunshine persuaded drivers to take to the track early. Greg Mansell (Comtec Racing) was the first to top the timing charts, but with several drivers opting to start out with fresh rubber, Victor Garcia (KMP Racing) soon took over top spot, lapping in 1'31''033. The Spaniard was replaced in his turn by Julian Leal (International Draco Racing) and then Daniel Zampieri. The Italian driver, fresh from his selection by the Ferrari Driver Academy, took the provisional best time in 1'30''613.
Everyone stepped up the pace during the last hour. Sten Pentus got himself a little limelight lapping in 1'30''026 to claim the fastest performance of the morning. The Estonian was followed by Keisuke Kunimoto (Epsilon Euskadi), Jean-Eric Vergne, Nathanael Berthon (International Draco Racing) and Victor Garcia. The afternoon session started off fairly low key.
Most drivers were practicing long runs and pit stops. Some were even in light aerodynamic configuration, as they will be be for each race 1 this season. Jan Charouz (P1 Motorsport) held first place for most of the session with a laptime of 1'30''809. Stefano Coletti (Comtec Racing), despite a dose of the flu, initiated the wave of quick laps after fitting new tires. But it was Daniel Zampieri who was first to drop below the 1'30 mark, with a 1'29''840 lap. The Italian driver (Pons Racing) finished this second session ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Nelson Panciatici. Watch out, the Rookies are here!
Daniel Zampieri: "We were on the pace in Barcelona, but a technical problem stopped me putting in a good time. Today we worked out a good set-up, and that meant we could confirm. It's a good way to start my collaboration with the Ferrari Driver Academy. I've still got a lot to learn, but I'm 200% motivated!"
Jean-Eric Vergne: "Up to now, I've finished all the sessions at the top of the timing chart, and that's encouraging. We're still exploring many settings on my car and little by little we're getting good results. We know that the performance is there, our next goal is to work on the whole duration of a race."
Stefano Colletti: "I'm learning, I'm building confidence and things are getting better and better. I'm still not exploiting the new tires 100%, but that will come with more experience behind the wheel. We're working well and today's time shows we're moving in the right direction. I'm going to try to improve on it tomorrow."