Trident rookie Arjun Maini led the way on the second day of Formula 2’s final pre-season test in Bahrain on Thursday.
Maini set a time of 1m42.779s – a second quicker than Nyck de Vries’ Wednesday benchmark – during the opening hour of running at Sakhir, which went unbeaten across the remainder of the day’s action.
Renault F1 reserve driver Jack Aitken was Maini’s closest challenger, finishing 0.224 seconds adrift for ART Grand Prix.
De Vries remained towards the front of the pack, taking third for Prema Racing, with Campos Racing’s Luca Ghiotto fourth.
Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz placed fifth, in front of British youngsters George Russell (ART Grand Prix) and Lando Norris (Carlin), the pair both preparing for their maiden campaign in the series.
Russian Time newcomer Tadasuke Makino split Arden teammates Maximilian Gunther, who was unable to run after lunch due to a suspected mechanical issue, and Nirei Fukuzumi to round out the top 10.
Ex-Manor F1 driver Roberto Merhi was 13th as he continued testing duties for MP Motorsport, while Roy Nissany finished 18th for Campos, the other team yet to finalise its 2018 line-up.
Last year’s runner-up Artem Markelov was a low-key 15th, bringing out one of two red flags when he spun through Turn 8; the other stoppage was triggered by Alexander Albon (DAMS) halting at pit entry.
The quickest times from all drivers came during the morning running, with focus switching to race simulations after the lunch break.
One more day of testing will take place on Friday, ahead of the opening round of the season at the same venue in two weeks’ time.
|2||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1'43.003||1'48.354|
|3||Nyck de Vries||Prema Racing
|4||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||1'43.111||1'49.688|
|5||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1'43.145||1'46.737|
|6||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1'43.161||1'51.243|
|8|| Maximilian Gunther
||Arden International||1'43.315||No time set|
|9||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time
|10||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||1'43.467||1'48.867|
|11||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1'43.498||1'48.855|
|13||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1'43.610||1'47.719|
|14|| Sergio Sette Camara
|15||Artem Markelov||Russian Time
|16||Sean Gelael||Prema Racing
|18||Roy Nissany||Campos Racing||1'43.971||1'48.944|
|20||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1'44.164||1'45.664|