Mercedes reserve Russell tops final day of Paul Ricard F2 test

Mercedes Formula 1 reserve George Russell set the fastest time on the final day of the opening pre-season Formula 2 test at Paul Ricard, ahead of his teammate Jack Aitken.

The ART Grand Prix pair set the fastest times of the day during the morning running, with Prema Racing’s Nyck de Vries completing the top three.

McLaren junior Lando Norris finished the day in eighth place overall, but held onto the fastest time of the three-day test, a 1m42.226 that he set on day two.

Russell and Aitken traded the top spot between them during the early running, before the 2017 GP3 champion put in a 1m42.396, which remained unbeaten as the teams switched to race simulations.

Aitken ended up 0.162s adrift, with de Vries 0.363s behind Russell, in a morning session that was interrupted by four red flags.

DAMS driver Alexander Albon set the fastest time in the afternoon session, during which the teams continued to focus on longer running.

Haas F1 development driver Arjun Maini wound up fifth-fastest for Trident ahead of Louis Deletraz (Charouz Racing System) and Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara.

Dan Ticktum, the 2017 Macau Grand Prix winner who was experiencing his first taste of F2-level machinery in place of Nicholas Latifi at DAMS, set the ninth-quickest time of the day.

Maximilian Gunther rounded out the top 10 for Arden International, setting his best time during the afternoon session after bringing out the red flags following the lunch break.

Sean Geleal (Prema) also caused a stoppage late on in the afternoon, after Charouz’s Fuoco, Russian Time driver Artem Markelov, Ralph Boschung (MP Motorsport) and Campos’ Roy Nissany - 12th, 13th, 16th and 19th overall respectively - had done likewise during the morning running.

Gelael ended up 15th fastest, with Maini’s teammate and fellow Haas junior Santino Ferrucci 18th, while former Manor F1 driver Roberto Merhi brought up the rear of the field for MP.

The second and final F2 pre-season test takes place in Bahrain on 21-23 March, with the 2018 season getting underway at the same venue on 6-8 April on the undercard of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Day 3 results

Pos. Driver Team AM PM
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:42.396 1:44.356
2 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:42.588 1:45.252
3 Nyck de Vries Prema 1:42.759 1:44.742
4 Alexander Albon DAMS 1:42.925 1:42.923
5 Arjun Maini Trident 1:43.851 1:43.061
6 Louis Deletraz Charouz 1:43.239 1:43.428
7 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1:43.269 1:43.597
8 Lando Norris Carlin 1:43.287 1:43.276
9 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1:43.503 1:43.310
10 Maximilian Gunther BWT Arden 1:43.350 1:43.330
11 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1:43.501 1:44.844
12 Antonio Fuoco Charouz 1:43.899 1:43.572
13 Artem Markelov Russian Time 1:43.575 1:44.250
14 Luca Ghiotto Campos 1:43.755 1:43.610
15 Sean Gelael Prema 1:43.731 1:43.998
16 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1:43.948 1:44.163
17 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time 1:44.164 1:43.961
18 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1:44.239 1:43.985
19 Roy Nissany Campos 1:44.048 1:44.782
20 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 1:44.377 1:44.909


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About this article
Series FIA F2
Event Paul Ricard March testing
Track Circuit Paul Ricard
Drivers Jack Aitken , George Russell , Alexander Albon
Teams ART Grand Prix
Article type Testing report