GP2 LogoRT RUSSIAN TIME driver quickest in Sakhir

 

The tenth season of the GP2 Series opened today at Bahrain International Circuit in windy conditions on a dirty track. It was Mitch Evans who ended the forty-five minute free practice session on top with a laptime of 1:42.062, a mere 0.06s quicker than rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.

 

As the pitlane opened, the DAMS duo was the first one to take to the track. With all twenty-six drivers having tested for three days on this track a few days ago, the opening minutes of the session were relatively quiet seeing mainly installation laps on Pirelli Hard tyres.

 

Conor Daly set a first significant laptime, but rookie Arthur Pic went three tenths quicker to claim the top spot. On the ten minutes’ mark, Evans set the final two sectors in purple and, although his lap was not totally clean as the New Zealander struggled with a lack of grip at Turn 13, he clocked in a laptime fast enough to go top, six tenths better than then P2 Daniiel De Jong.

 

The remainder of the session saw the rest of the field trying to close the gap to Evans. In the final stages, newcomers Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello swapped second place, but it was eventually the Belgian driver who managed to put together a laptime a hairsbreadth away from Evans’. With two minutes left on the clock, De Jong stopped at turn 2 which brought out a red flag and an early end to the session.

 

Behind Evans and Vandoorne, Marciello, Daniel Abt, Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, André Negrao, Jolyon Palmer, Simon Trummer and Daly rounded up the top ten. But this pecking order could change tonight during the qualifying session which will take place at 8pm (local time) under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit.

 

Sakhir – Free Practice

Driver Team Laptime Laps
Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.062 11
Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:42.124 12
Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:42.269 13
Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:42.319 10
Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:42.373 12
Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:42.388 12
André Negrao Arden International 1:42.507 12
Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:42.533 12
Simon Trummer Rapax 1:42.553 13
Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.574 14
Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:42.606 11
Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:42.607 12
Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:42.629 11
Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.653 14
Julian Leal Carlin 1:42.664 12
Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:42.707 11
Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:42.959 13
Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:42.984 12
19 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:42.997 11
Rene Binder Arden International 1:43.071 11
Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:43.076 11
Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:43.307 12
Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:43.547 13
Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:43.815 10
Axcil Jefferies Trident 1:43.842 16
Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:44.243 11