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
|3||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1m41.295s|
|4||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1m41.452s|
|5||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||1m41.457s|
|6||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m41.509s|
|7||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||1m41.525s|
|8||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||1m41.545s|
|9||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1m41.562s|
|10||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m41.615s|
|11||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m41.698s|
|13||40||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Pons Racing||1m41.867s|
|14||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||1m42.031s|
|15||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m42.281s|
|16||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||1m42.351s|
|17||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1m42.494s|
|18||7||Roman Mavlanov||RUS||Zeta Corse||1m42.597s|
|19||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1m42.658s|
|20||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||1m42.820s|
|21||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||1m44.459s|