Frenchman leads the way in Abu Dhabi
Pierre Gasly claimed the top of the timesheets in this morning’s free practice session in Abu Dhabi with a string of stunningly quick laps early in a cooler than usual session in the emirate, easily leading home McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne and ART teammate Nobuharu Matsushita.
The Red Bull tester set a number of quickest laps before stopping the clocks at 1:49.349 a third of the way into the session for a time which was a second faster than the best time of last year’s free practice: the reigning champion pushed hard but was chasing his rival all session long, Gasly seemingly able to improve his pace at will.
Most of the field kept their powder dry ahead of this evening’s qualifying, with very few drivers running off the track and no one finding the wall, to the relief of the mechanics all along the pitlane. As the temperatures crept up in the latter stages of the session there was little to bother the timesheets as most of the field concentrated on their race set ups.
Nevertheless behind the top three Alexander Rossi, Alex Lynn, Mitch Evans, Jordan King, Raffaele Marciello, Norman Nato and Arthur Pic rounded out the top ten and will be all looking to put on a show under lights in qualifying this evening.
Yas Marina – Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Pierre Gasly
DAMS
1:49.349
19
2.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:49.483
19
3.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:49.860
19
4.
Alexander Rossi
Racing Engineering
1:50.021
15
5.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:50.056
19
6.
Mitch Evans
RUSSIAN TIME
1:50.270
17
7.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:50.288
18
8.
Raffaele Marciello
Trident
1:50.390
20
9.
Norman Nato
Arden International
1:50.521
15
10.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:50.631
19
11.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:50.680
18
12.
Rio Haryanto
Campos Racing
1:50.795
17
13.
Sergey Sirotkin
Rapax
1:50.825
19
14.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:51.048
16
15.
Sergio Canamasas
Daiko Team Lazarus
1:51.057
18
16.
Dean Stoneman
Carlin
1:51.070
18
17.
Rene Binder
MP Motorsport
1:51.094
18
18.
Nicholas Latifi
MP Motorsport
1:51.110
18
19
Oliver Rowland
Status Grand Prix
1:51.158
17
20.
Marlon Stockinger
Status Grand Prix
1:51.504
18
21.
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:52.107
17
22.
Gustav Malja
Rapax
1:52.873
18
23.
Sean Gelael
Carlin
1:53.403
18
24.
Nathanaël Berthon
Daiko Team Lazarus
1:53.876
5