Jehan Daruvala topped the timesheets this afternoon in Day One of the post F2 season test at Bahrain International Circuit. The Indian driver is fresh from his maiden victory in the Sakhir Sprint Race on Sunday. His fastest lap of a 1:41.848 was not far off of Ilott’s pole time two weeks ago of a 1:41.479. That was set on the medium tyres while everyone in the test will be on the hard tyres for all sessions.
F2 Test Day One: One Long Session
The test was originally scheduled to be three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon but shortly after getting under way, the organisers were forced to delay the action until adequate marshalling and safety support could be brought in. The session instead ran for five hours from 13:30 till 18:30.
F2 Test Day One: Carlin Buzz Racing
Joining Daruvala at Carlin was Dan Ticktum who hinted in his post race interview on Sunday that his new team would be revealed in the next few days. Today’s drive to 2nd, a mere tenth behind Daruvala, appears to be confirmation that the Londoner will team with Daruvala for Carlin in 2021. No other drivers are scheduled to drive for the legendary British team in the final two days of the test.
F2 Test Day One: MP Motorsport
Third in the standings after the session was Louis Deletraz who will be driving for MP Motorsport in all three days of the test. The second MP Motorsport car was driven by Lirim Zendeli who will also be driving all three days. Zendeli was 12th in the timings but only 6/10ths away from his experienced teammate for the week.
F2 Test Day One Prema Powerteam
Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri have both been confirmed by Prema as being their 2021 F2 drivers. They finished the day in 4th and 5th places. It was a strong showing by rookie Piastri to be less than 2/10ths behind his vaunted teammate.
F2 Test Day One: Charouz Racing System
Following his Sunday heartbreak, Callum Ilott was out in the #1 Charouz car. This is the only day of the test he was scheduled in and he finished the day 0.6 seconds off of Daruvala. Also driving for Charouz was F3 graduate David Beckmann who was 19th overall.
F2 Test Day One: Campos Racing
Ralph Boschung was able to get an early start on his Campos return at the weekend, subbing for Jack Aitken. Today marked the first day of his testing return with his final time being very close to Ilott’s. Campos also have Logan Sargeant driving for them this week. Sargeant was 3rd in F3 this season driving for Prema but could only manage 18th in the F2 machinery today.
F2 Test Day One: UNI-Virtuosi
Guanyu Zhou is yet to be announced at a team this season but Felipe Drugovich is on record as saying that Zhou will be his teammate at UNI-Virtuosi. Appropriately, the pair were 8th and 9th on the timesheets with first blood going to Zhou who has one more year of F2 experience but less wins than the Brazilian.
F2 Test Day One: ART Grand Prix
Christian Lundgaard and Theo Pourchaire will be piloting the ARTs all week. Pourchaire made his F2 debut in the Bahrain round for HWA. He ended the day only 2/10ths away from the highly regarded Dane who is widely tipped to be a title contender next season if and when he is announced as a driver for ART in 2021.
F2 Test Day One: Hitech Grand Prix
Liam Lawson stepped up from F3 to F2 this week, appropriately enough with the Hitech team with which he has campaigned all year. The Red Bull junior was joined by Juri Vips who performed admirably this year substituting for Sean Gelael at the DAMS team. Both drivers will be driving all three days and would certainly make for an exciting line up at Hitech next season if announced. They ended the day in 11th for Lawson and 13th for Vips.
F2 Test Day One: DAMS
Like a classic battle of yesteryear F1, it was Ferrari vs Williams for DAMS with Marcus Armstrong of the Ferrari Driver Academy and Roy Nissany of the Williams Driver Academy in the hot seats. Armstrong got the better of the Williams driver for 14th place, Nissany was in 17th.
F2 Test Day One: Trident
Trident were running Clement Novalak today and he has been confirmed in the car for tomorrow as well while Bent Viscaal will take over on Thursday. Novalak competes under a British flag but is of French-Swiss heritage. He scooped the British F3 title in 2019 with Carlin and raced for the British team in International F3 this year. A 2nd place in the British Sprint Race at Silverstone was his highest result along with a 3rd in the Austrian Sprint Race. A 1:43.049 from Novalak was 1.2 seconds off of Daruvala’s best time.
Marino Sato will continue to drive the car he campaigned all season during the three days of the test. He finished the day bottom of the timing sheets, similar to his results during the 2020 season really.
F2 Test Day One: BWT HWA RACELAB
It was not just DAMS going for a nostalgic vibe today, as the HWA team had Matteo Nannini and Robert Merhi driving for them today as they will be all week. F1 and just about every other series you can think of veteran, Merhi wound up 21st and behind Nannini. Older fans of the sport will recognise the Nannini name. Matteo is the nephew of one time Grand Prix winner Alessandro.