Japanese driver quickest in opening post-season test day
Nobuharu Matsushita dominated day 1 of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit: the Japanese ace set the quickest laptime of both sessions at the wheel of his ART Grand Prix car. Nicholas Latifi and Pierre Gasly completed the top 3.
Day 1 of post-season testing opened this morning with the twenty-four drivers on Pirelli Medium tyres. After a series of installation laps; thirty minutes into the session, Matsushita set the best laptime in a 1:49.180, three tenths quicker than teammate Oliver Rowland. Alex Lynn moved up to P2 on the one hour mark with Norman Nato also able to improve enough to edge out Rowland from P3.
The proceedings were briefly red flagged to collect some debris after Campos’ Sean Gelael clipped the barrier at turn 19. The Indonesian driver was able to re-join the pits. The rest of the session ran smoothly until the chequered flag and Matsushita’s laptime remained unchallenged. Behind the top three, Rowland, Pierre Gasly (on newcomers PREMA Racing’s car), Nicholas Latifi (DAMS), Tio Ellinas (RUSSIAN TIME), André Negrao (Rapax), Richie Stanaway (Carlin), and Nick Yelloly (MP Motorsport) completed the top ten.
It was night time when the pitlane went green again. Jordan King set the early pace, but Matsushita returned to P1 with a 1:48.909 – four tenths better than his teammate Rowland who moved up to P2. The Brit then found some extra pace reducing the gap to the Japanese, but not enough to claim the top spot.
Thirty minutes into the session, Stanaway moved up to P1 with a laptime one tenth better than Matsushita, but Latifi edged the Kiwi out with a laptime of a 1:48.418. Gasly also improved and moved up to P2 whilst Yelloly climbed up to P3. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Matsushita put his down and dipped under 1m48s setting a laptime half a second better than Latifi.
At the chequered flag, Gasly finished third ahead of Rowland, Artem Markelov, Yelloly, Nato, Stanaway, Dean Stoneman (Carlin) and Negrao.
Tomorrow’s session will start at 12.00 and will run until 14.30. The proceedings will resume at 18.00 and will end at 20.30.
Morning results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:49.180
25
2.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:49.304
9
3.
Norman Nato
Arden International
1:49.479
17
4.
Oliver Rowland
ART Grand Prix
1:49.501
12
5.
Pierre Gasly
PREMA Racing
1:49.508
16
6.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:49.792
15
7.
Tio Ellinas
RUSSIAN TIME
1:49.816
27
8.
André Negrao
Rapax
1:49.821
18
9.
Richie Stanaway
Carlin
1:49.837
17
10.
Nick Yelloly
MP Motorsport
1:50.067
23
11.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:50.078
20
12.
Sergey Sirotkin
Racing Engineering
1:50.200
15
13.
Dean Stoneman
Carlin
1:50.244
18
14.
Felix Rosenqvist
Status Grand Prix
1:50.264
21
15.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:50.429
21
16.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:50.543
23
17.
Jimmy Eriksson
Trident
1:50.739
20
18.
Pascal Wehrlein
PREMA Racing
1:51.022
18
19.
Gustav Malja
Arden International
1:51.032
23
20.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Campos Racing
1:51.257
17
21.
Alex Fontana
Rapax
1:51.309
16
22.
Richard Gonda
MP Motorsport
1:51.745
25
23
Sean Gelael
Campos Racing
1:52.340
7
24.
Philo Armand
Status Grand Prix
1:54.167
20
Afternoon results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:47.903
29
2.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:48.418
35
3.
Pierre Gasly
PREMA Racing
1:48.437
23
4.
Oliver Rowland
ART Grand Prix
1:48.454
30
5.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:48.581
18
6.
Nick Yelloly
MP Motorsport
1:48.744
10
7.
Norman Nato
Arden International
1:48.780
27
8.
Richie Stanaway
Carlin
1:48.791
23
9.
Dean Stoneman
Carlin
1:48.865
25
10.
André Negrao
Rapax
1:48.875
25
11.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:48.943
29
12.
Tio Ellinas
RUSSIAN TIME
1:48.997
35
13.
Felix Rosenqvist
Status Grand Prix
1:49.165
29
14.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:49.213
26
15.
Sergey Sirotkin
Racing Engineering
1:49.223
32
16.
Gustav Malja
Arden International
1:49.423
29
17.
Alex Fontana
Rapax
1:49.747
35
18.
Pascal Wehrlein
PREMA Racing
1:50.030
17
19.
Jimmy Eriksson
Trident
1:50.110
32
20.
Sean Gelael
Campos Racing
1:50.491
34
21.
Richard Gonda
MP Motorsport
1:50.536
27
22.
Philo Armand
Status Grand Prix
1:51.558
27
23.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Campos Racing
1:51.607
5
24.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:52.515
29