F2 – Test Day 1 Morning Session 29th November
Our post-season testing commenced at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi at 9:00am Local time on 29th November. This event marked the final track days for the Dallara F2 2018 model before the introduction of the 2024 model next season.
The session took a while to get going with five red flags in total. Trident’s Richard Verschoor was halted on track early, prompting a red flag. Once cleared, drivers undertook exploratory laps. Initially, Zane Maloney led the timesheets with a 1:57.444.
About 25 minutes in, the track quietened as teams and drivers evaluated initial laps and adjusted setups. At 9:30am, Ollie Bearman led the drivers with some practice starts on the main pit straight, followed by a quick lap by JM Correa, setting a 1:38.388, as the drivers worked on edging nearer to the race weekend’s official times.
A red flag at 09:37 am interrupted the session after the Trident of Goethe had an incident at Turn 14. At this point, Correa led, with Bearman and Fittipaldi close behind. A third red flag followed soon after for Fittipaldi stopped at Turn 7.
Post-interruption, Bearman set a 1:37.670, with Crawford and Verschoor closely trailing. However, another stoppage occurred at Turn 8 with Crawford.
Paul Aron broke into the top three with a 1:38.269. Ninety minutes in, Crawford, Verschoor, and Aron led the timesheets.
Marti and the Campos team focused on setup work. Victor Martins impressed, leading the timesheets with a 1:36.972. At this stage, the top three comprised of Martins, Maloney, and Hauger, with F3 graduate Zak O’Sullivan showing pace in fourth.
The session included lap deletions for track limit violations for the most part at Turn 4 and Turn 16. The experienced F2 drivers adjusted setups quicker than the newcomers to begin to pump in the quick times.
In the closing minutes, Martins remained fastest, now with a 1:36.852 closely followed by Enzo Fittipaldi on a 1:36.960 and Crawford on a 1:37.006. Colapinto led the new drivers with a 1:37.105 in fifth.
The session proved valuable for rookies adapting to the series, while seasoned drivers quickly resumed their form.
Top of the newcomers and rookies was Colapinto with 38 laps. While O’Sullivan sat in 9th, Bortoleto in 12th, Marti in 13th followed by Antonelli who clocked up the most laps with 44 rotations, Durksen, Aron, Villagomez, Goethe, and Miyata respectively.
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited