Top five competitors of the Formula Renault 3.5 series rapidly readapted to Circuito de Jerez.
On the Circuito de Jerez, Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) set the best time in the collective tests in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. During the morning session, the Frenchman got the better of William Buller (Arden Motorsport) and Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) with a lap time of 1:28.825.
In the afternoon, the members of the Red Bull Junior Team, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) and Carlos Sainz (DAMS), equally leader of the championship, went quickest without beating the reference time of the Lotus driver.
The competitors of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series rapidly readapted to Circuito de Jerez, which they ran on during the collective tests last March. Matias Laine was the first to go under the 1:30 barrier, but Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing), Matthieu Vaxiviere, Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) and Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) all took their turn at the top of the time sheet.
The races will be interesting with a lot of tyre degradation!
With 14 minutes remaining in the morning session, Matthieu Vaxiviere retook the top spot. Improving his time to 1:28.823, the Frenchman held his position all the way to the chequered flag. He led from William Buller and Matias Laine. Pierre Gasly and Sergey Sirotkin completed the top five.
In the afternoon, the opening minutes of the session were hotly contested. Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) emerged in the lead, but then Pierre Gasly and Matias Laine went quicker. Marlon Stockinger then moved ahead until he saw his time beaten by Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) after the mid-way point of the session.
Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) and Pierre Gasly moved into the top two positions with 12 minutes remaining. The Red Bull Junior Team driver improved to 1:29.652, which allowed him to hold on to the top spot ahead of Carlos Sainz, Jazeman Jaafar and Will Stevens. William Buller completed the top five.
Matthieu Vaxiviere: “The morning went very well, with a lot of constructive work on the car. Alas, I had a brake problem that impacted the balance in the afternoon. We only had one lap to run with the qualifying tyres. The exercise will be thus more important than usual!”
William Buller: “Second and fourth, is not a bad day! I am quite pleased with this Friday and we made good progress on a very difficult track. We want to continue in this direction and see how the track will be tomorrow. The evolution of the tyres will be the hardest thing to get a handle on this weekend.”
Pierre Gasly: “It has been a very satisfying day because we put in the fourth best time this morning and the three drivers ahead of us were on new tyres. We knew we had a good car and that we were competitive. On fresh tyres, it also worked well and on new tyres, we were able to quickly set a good time. Optimizing the traffic in qualifying tomorrow will be key to getting the most out of the tyres! The races will be interesting with a lot of tyre degradation!”
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