Gasley tops GP2 testing as Kiwis focus on race simulations

Autosport

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly has finished GP2 pre-season testing on top, setting the fastest time on the final day of running at Bahrain International Circuit.

Gasly, who will test a Formula 1 car for the first time next month with Toro Rosso, led the way in the morning session, which featured qualifying simulations before teams switched their focus to race preparations for circuit’s season opener in a fortnight.

Pirelli’s soft tyres featured from the outset, with Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello the first man to dip below the 1m40s barrier during the three-day test.

Last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up, Gasly moved to the top of the timesheets an hour into running with a 1m39.632s and the DAMS driver’s benchmark wasn’t bettered as temperatures rose.

In a tight top end, McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne was his closest challenger with a time just 0.014 seconds slower, while Mitch Evans, Alexander Rossi and Marciello were all within a tenth of Gasly.

Reigning GP3 champion and Gasly’s team-mate, Alex Lynn was sixth, ahead of day one pacesetter Jordan King.

“For me the three days of testing have been very encouraging,” King said.

“To come here and go quickest on the first day was very positive, firstly because I have never been here before and secondly because GP2 doesn’t have a lot of time before qualifying, so to be able to come to a new circuit and go quickly straight away was quite encouraging.

“Over the next two days we changed a lot of things so we have a lot of data to analyse, so we can now sit down and see what worked and what didn’t and learn which direction to go in.”

After finishing 24th in the morning, Nigel Melker topped the afternoon running with a time of 1m41.566, ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, Rio Haryanto, Gasly and Norman Nato, whose Arden International caused a late red flag when it caught on fire.

MORNING TIMES:

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1Pierre GaslyDAMS1m39.632s21
2Stoffel VandoorneART Grand Prix1m39.646s0.014s21
3Mitchell EvansRUSSIAN TIME1m39.679s0.047s15
4Alexander RossiRacing Engineering1m39.715s0.083s14
5Raffaele MarcielloTrident1m39.720s0.088s21
6Alex LynnDAMS1m39.884s0.252s21
7Jordan KingRacing Engineering1m40.002s0.370s16
8Sergey SirotkinRapax1m40.007s0.375s29
9Marco SorensenCarlin1m40.017s0.385s18
10Arthur PicCampos Racing1m40.254s0.622s21
11Julian LealCarlin1m40.288s0.656s18
12Andre NegraoArden International1m40.323s0.691s17
13Artem MarkelovRUSSIAN TIME1m40.356s0.724s19
14Norman NatoArden International1m40.416s0.784s19
15Nathanael BerthonLazarus1m40.453s0.821s26
16Rio HaryantoCampos Racing1m40.663s1.031s15
17Nick YellolyHilmer Motorsport1m40.685s1.053s25
18Nobuharu MatsushitaART Grand Prix1m40.860s1.228s19
19Rene BinderTrident1m40.873s1.241s21
20Sergio CanamasasMP Motorsport1m41.101s1.469s27
21Robert VisoiuRapax1m41.261s1.629s26
22Daniel de JongMP Motorsport1m41.354s1.722s20
23Zoel AmbergLazarus1m41.456s1.824s18
24Nigel MelkerHilmer Motorsport1m42.628s2.996s18
25Richie StanawayStatus Grand Prix1m44.799s5.167s30
26Marlon StockingerStatus Grand Prix1m45.477s5.845s32

AFTERNOON TIMES:

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1Nigel MelkerHilmer Motorsport1m41.566s18
2Sergey SirotkinRapax1m41.633s0.067s12
3Rio HaryantoCampos Racing1m41.707s0.141s39
4Pierre GaslyDAMS1m41.737s0.171s28
5Norman NatoArden International1m41.970s0.404s12
6Alex LynnDAMS1m41.988s0.422s26
7Robert VisoiuRapax1m42.000s0.434s12
8Nick YellolyHilmer Motorsport1m42.367s0.801s17
9Rene BinderTrident1m42.510s0.944s21
10Andre NegraoArden International1m42.694s1.128s20
11Arthur PicCampos Racing1m42.736s1.170s36
12Zoel AmbergLazarus1m43.483s1.917s29
13Jordan KingRacing Engineering1m44.004s2.438s35
14Nobuharu MatsushitaART Grand Prix1m44.061s2.495s35
15Nathanael BerthonLazarus1m44.115s2.549s28
16Stoffel VandoorneART Grand Prix1m44.252s2.686s33
17Marlon StockingerStatus Grand Prix1m44.506s2.940s34
18Daniel de JongMP Motorsport1m44.789s3.223s20
19Marco SorensenCarlin1m44.878s3.312s50
20Richie StanawayStatus Grand Prix1m45.087s3.521s32
21Raffaele MarcielloTrident1m45.274s3.708s11
22Julian LealCarlin1m45.376s3.810s42
23Artem MarkelovRUSSIAN TIME1m45.441s3.875s38
24Alexander RossiRacing Engineering1m45.565s3.999s58
25Sergio CanamasasMP Motorsport1m45.842s4.276s22
26Mitchell EvansRUSSIAN TIME1m45.913s4.347s26

Gasley tops GP2 testing as Kiwis focus on race simulations

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