Vaxiviere dominates opening day of Aragon test

Matthieu Vaxiviere was fastest on the opening day of the final Formula Renault 3.5 Series test at Motorland Aragon, with the Frenchman the only driver to set a lap time beneath 1m41s.

The Lotus driver set an impressive pace around the Spanish circuit, setting a best time of 1m40.635s during the afternoon session, improving on his 1m41.331s lap that saw him top the timing screens during the morning session.

Times tumbled in the afternoon, with many drivers setting their best times towards the end of the day, and last years GP3 Series runner-up Dean Stoneman was second, although the DAMS driver more than half a second adrift of Vaxiviere’s pace.

Russian Egor Orudzhev was third fastest for Arden Motorsport, ahead of Jazeman Jaafar of Fortec Motorsports who was the first of five drivers within a tenth of a second. Tio Ellinas completed the top five for Strakka Racing, ahead of Tom Dillmann of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, the second Lotus of Meindert van Buuren, and the second Strakka of Gustav Malja.

Briton Oliver Rowland of Fortec and Bruno Bonifacio of International Draco Racing completed the top ten, with the Brazilian just beating his team-mate Pietro Fantin.

Roberto Merhi made it to the test after flying directly from making his Formula 1 debut in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, and got out on track in the morning session. The Spaniard, who insists he will fulfil his Pons Racing contract in Formula Renault 3.5 Series this year regardless or not he remains a Manor F1 Team driver, was thirteenth fastest.

There was a late change in the entry list at Zeta Corse, when Russian Roman Mavlanov, who drove for the team alongside Merhi in 2014, returned to the team and took the place of the announced Facu Regalia.

2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Aragon Test Day 1 Times

19Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m40.635s
22Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m41.152s
36Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m41.295s
43Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m41.452s
511Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m41.457s
626Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m41.509s
710Meindert van BuurenNEDLotus1m41.525s
812Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m41.545s
94Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m41.562s
1020Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing1m41.615s
1119Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing1m41.698s
1216Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m41.851s
1340Roberto MerhiESPPons Racing1m41.867s
141Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m42.031s
1525Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m42.281s
165Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m42.351s
1715Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m42.494s
187Roman MavlanovRUSZeta Corse1m42.597s
1918Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m42.658s
2017Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m42.820s
2139Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons Racing1m44.459s