Ticktum leads opening session of Bahrain F2 test
Dan Ticktum set the pace in the first morning session of the three-day FIA Formula 2 Two test at Bahrain.
The Briton, who has joined Carlin for this year, clocked a 1m43.021s benchmark to kick off the first action of the 2021 season for the F2 grid.
As an indication for the pace being run by the teams and drivers, the time was some 1.6s slower than the pole position time set by Callum Ilott in last year’s championship round at the Sakhir Circuit.
The three hour session was largely a chance for the teams to blow out the cobwebs and bed in drivers - of which 10 are rookies this year.
Ticktum set his personal best with just over an hour of the session remaining after topping the times from Lirim Zendeli (MP Motorsport), who set the first real indicative time, and Liam Lawson (Hitech Grand Prix), who rose to the top of the times early in the second hour.
However, it was Ticktum’s effort that stood firm as the chequered flag flew leaving the Carlin driver with a 0.6s advantage over Lawson.
The sister Carlin of Jehan Daruvala ended up third fastest, 0.140s further back, while early pace setter and F2 rookie Zendeli was fourth.
Hitech Grand Prix had both cars inside the top five with Juri Vips in fifth narrowly ahead of Charouz Racing’s Guilherme Samaia.
Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri was seventh for Prema Racing as fellow F3 graduate Bent Viscaal (Trident), Marcus Armstrong (DAMS) and newcomer David Beckmann (Charouz Racing) rounded out the top 10.
Title favourites Robert Shwartzman (Prema Racing) and Gunayu Zhou (UNI Virtuosi) were among the surprise names near the bottom of the times.
Shwartzman sat at the foot of the timesheets having logged only seven laps during the session, while Zhou was also languishing until a late flourish saw him rise to 16th at the flag.
Richard Verschoor, a late addition to the test roster for MP Motorsport, logged the most mileage, racking up 38 laps during the session.
The session ran largely without incident barring a brief five minute stoppage in the first hour, caused by Verschoor coming to a halt on the back straight.
Teams will be back in action later today for the afternoon session, which concludes at 5pm local time (2pm GMT).
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech Grand Prix||1'43.621||0.600||17|
|4||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||1'44.095||1.074||35|
|5||Jüri Vips||Hitech Grand Prix||1'44.143||1.122||16|
|6||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz Racing System||1'44.332||1.311||31|
|7||Oscar Piastri||Prema Racing||1'44.346||1.325||8|
|10||David Beckmann||Charouz Racing System||1'44.529||1.508||31|
|14||C.Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||1'44.880||1.859||21|
|15||Théo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1'45.038||2.017||19|
|18||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||1'45.486||2.465||26|
|19||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1'45.496||2.475||24|
|20||Gianluca Petecof||Campos Racing||1'46.362||3.341||27|
|21||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||1'48.816||5.795||28|
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