David Beckmann surprised the Formula 2 paddock by setting the fastest overall time on the first day of pre-season testing.
The German who will be making his Formula 2 debut in Bahrain in two weeks was under seven-tenths quicker than the ART pairing of Christian Lundgaard and Theo Pourchaire in the afternoon session.
Brazilian Felipe Drugovich was fourth fastest, just over a second down on Beckmann with Jüri Vips and reigning Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri rounding off the top six.
Marino Sato continued his good form from the morning to finish the afternoon session seventh fastest ahead of Liam Lawson and Trident teammate Bent Viscaal with Guanyu Zhou rounding off the top ten.
Dan Ticktum was the fastest in the morning with his time of 1.43.021, over half a second quicker than Hitech’s Lawson and Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala with the Brit’s time good enough for second overall at the end of the day’s running.
Lirim Zendeli was fourth fastest for MP Motorsport in the morning session, ahead of Vips and Guilherme Samaia, who had a good start to life at the Charouz outfit after a difficult rookie season with Campos.
Piastri was seventh fastest ahead of Viscaal and Marcus Armstrong, with Beckmann rounding off the top ten in the morning.
Richard Verschoor was thirteenth fastest in the morning session and fifteenth fastest in the afternoon. The Dutchman completed the most Laps of all twenty-two drivers with seventy-seven.
However, the 2019 Macau Grand Prix winner will have to wait for news confirming whether he will partner Zendeli at MP for the 2021 season.
Championship favorite Robert Shwartzman had a quiet start to testing. The Ferrari junior finished last in the morning after only completing seven laps before improving to thirteenth in the afternoon.
Campos had a challenging start to the new season as new driver lineup Ralph Boschung and Gianluca Petecof failed to reach the top ten in both sessions with their times. Boschung was the faster of the pair with a 1.45.496 that was good enough for the nineteenth fastest in the morning.
Matteo Nannini, who will be the only driver to contest both the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championship this year, had a reasonable start to his Formula 2 campaign with seventeenth in the morning session and eighteenth in the afternoon with Nannini comfortably ahead of teammate and fellow rookie Alessio Deledda who was twenty-first in both sessions and over three seconds slower than Nannini.
A.M SESSION RESULTS
P.M SESSION RESULTS
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited