FIA Formula 2 – Günther on top in final day of Bahrain test

Maximilian Günther set the fastest lap of the FIA Formula 2 Championship pre-season test at Sakhir, Bahrain on the final day, leading the way with a 1:42.756 set in the morning session to beat Charouz Racing System’s Louis Delétraz and ART Grand Prix’s George Russell. Günther’s BWT Arden teammate Nirei Fukuzumi was quickest in the afternoon session.
 
Roy Nissany of Campos Vexatec Racing jumped the rest of the field onto the track, beating DAMS’ Alexander Albon and Fukuzumi out of the pitlane. Günther led the opening stages, making up for a lack of running from the previous day’s afternoon session to take the early advantage.
 
Although Trident’s Arjun Maini – holder of yesterday’s fastest lap – briefly leapfrogged the German driver, Günther quickly reclaimed the top berth on the timing screens with the only lap in the 1m42s, ending the first hour on top, accosted soon after by Delétraz and RUSSIAN TIME’s Tadasuke Makino.
 
Jack Aitken (ART Grand Prix) brought out the red flag shortly after the second hour, coming to a halt at turn 8, leaving 45 minutes of the session to run after the track went live once more. Multiple teams took the opportunity to practice tyre changes, with the pitlane becoming a hive of activity after the green flag.
 
As attention turned to race preparation, Günther’s time remained unchallenged throughout the rest of the session, staying three tenths of a second ahead of Delétraz, as Russell completed the top three ahead of teammate Aitken. Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara moved ahead of Makino for fifth, as Maini and Luca Ghiotto (Campos) grabbed seventh and eighth. Albon and Charouz’s Antonio Fuoco completed the top half of the field.
 
Ghiotto was the first driver on track for the afternoon session, taking the initiative ahead of the two Charouz drivers to commence the post-break running. The Italian headed the early timesheets, before Roberto Merhi (MP Motorsport) ended the first half-hour on top with over a second’s advantage over the field.
 
Although Fuoco, Makino and his RUSSIAN TIME teammate Artem Markelov spent periods of time nestled behind Merhi in the standings, the Spanish driver kept them at arm’s length to retain control of the timing boards going into the final hour of running as the majority focused further on race simulations.
 
Markelov then came to a halt to bring out the first red flag, the session resuming with 45 minutes left on the clock, before Ralph Boschung (MP) brought out a second just quarter of an hour later. The restart shuffled the order somewhat, with Fukuzumi ending Merhi’s hold on first position before Günther returned to the top of the pile shortly after.  
 
In the final ten minutes, Fukuzumi surged to the lead of the timing boards to complete Arden’s lock-out of both sessions. Günther completed a one-two for the British team with Fuoco third, as Camara and Markelov completed the top five. Long-time leader Merhi ended the day sixth, ahead of British duo Norris and Russell – the latter clocking in 58 laps over the afternoon’s running. Makino held the ninth-best time, as Sean Gelael (PREMA) grabbed tenth ahead of Albon.
 
The Formula 2 season will officially begin in two weeks’ time – returning to Bahrain – from the 6-8 April for the first races of 2018.
 
FIA Formula 2 Bahrain Test – Day 3 Morning Session
 
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1
Maximilian Günther
BWT Arden
1:42.756
28
2
Louis Delétraz
Charouz Racing System
1:43.058
39
3
George Russell
ART Grand Prix
1:43.109
24
4
Jack Aitken
ART Grand Prix
1:43.143
24
5
Sergio Sette Camara
Carlin
1:43.149
28
6
Tadasuke Makino
RUSSIAN TIME
1:43.209
21
7
Arjun Maini
Trident
1:43.254
28
8
Luca Ghiotto
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:43.266
22
9
Alexander Albon
DAMS
1:43.388
29
10
Antonio Fuoco
Charouz Racing System
1:43.474
21
11
Lando Norris
Carlin
1:43.490
28
12
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:43.682
23
13
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:43.715
30
14
Ralph Boschung
MP Motorsport
1:43.828
17
15
Nyck de Vries
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:43.876
22
16
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
1:43.890
22
17
Roy Nissany
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:43.975
22
18
Sean Gelael
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:44.051
20
19
Roberto Merhi
MP Motorsport
1:44.625
28
20
Nirei Fukuzumi
BWT Arden
1:44.778
12
 
FIA Formula 2 Bahrain Test – Day 3 Afternoon Session
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1
Nirei Fukuzumi
BWT Arden
1:43.430
35
2
Maximilian Günther
BWT Arden
1:44.145
35
3
Antonio Fuoco
Charouz Racing System
1:44.152
39
4
Sergio Sette Camara
Carlin
1:45.310
21
5
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:46.895
46
6
Roberto Merhi
MP Motorsport
1:46.908
45
7
Lando Norris
Carlin
1:46.937
24
8
George Russell
ART Grand Prix
1:47.860
58
9
Tadasuke Makino
RUSSIAN TIME
1:47.239
34
10
Sean Gelael
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:47.419
45
11
Alexander Albon
DAMS
1:48.110
48
12
Ralph Boschung
MP Motorsport
1:48.412
24
13
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
1:48.454
43
14
Roy Nissany
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:48.469
28
15
Jack Aitken
ART Grand Prix
1:48.600
53
16
Luca Ghiotto
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:48.759
56
17
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:48.776
34
18
Nyck de Vries
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:48.857
29
19
Louis Delétraz
Charouz Racing System
1:49.013
41
20
Arjun Maini
Trident
1:49.327
33

Press release FIA Formula 2

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