PEDRO Piquet and Devlin DeFrancesco set the pace yesterday on the first day of their respective pre-season tests at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Piquet of Charouz Racing System was the overall quickest for the day amongst the runners in the FIA Formula 2 Championship while DeFrancesco of Trident had the day’s quickest lap in the FIA Formula 3 Championship tests.
Both of their best times were set during the afternoon sessions around BIC’s 5.412km Grand Prix track - the same circuit both series will be racing on when the lights go out for their 2020 seasons in support of the upcoming Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from March 19 to 22.
Testing continues today.
The Formula 2 competitors will be testing from 11.45am to 2.15pm and then from 5.15pm to 7.45pm. The Formula 3 drivers will test from 9am to 11.30am and then again from 2.30pm to 5pm.
In Formula 2, 22 drivers were in action in both the morning and afternoon test sessions yesterday.
Piquet’s pace-setting lap was one minute 41.877 seconds while completing 31 laps as the floodlights came on at BIC. His time was the only one under a minute and 42 seconds, and he posted the day’s benchmark with only minutes remaining in the session.
Nobuharu Matsushita of MP Motorsport was second-best with a lap of 1:42.070 while Jehan Daruvala of Carlin was third-fastest with a 1:42.163 time. Completing the top six were Roy Nissany of Trident, Marcus Armstrong of ART Grand Prix and Sean Galeal of DAMS.
In the morning session, Louis Deletraz of Charouz Racing System was the top man but he was only 0.025s quicker than Matsushita. Deletraz clocked a best lap of 1:43.583 while completing 23 laps as Matsushita followed with a 1:43.608 time in 27 laps.