Leclerc leads day 1 after Matsushita penalised

Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/FIA Formula 2

Charles Leclerc was credited with the fastest time of the opening day of the final pre-season test of 2017 at the Bahrain International Circuit on Wednesday, although a quicker lap by Nobuharu Matsushita was ruled out due to a red flag infringement.

ART Grand Prix racer Matsushita was one of five drivers to have lap times deleted due to failing to respect red flag conditions when Ralph Boschung stopped on track, with Antonio Fuoco, Louis Delétraz, Johnny Cecotto Jr and Sergio Canamasas also being found guilty.

Matsushita’s mistake returned Leclerc to the front of the field, with the Monegasque driver setting a best time of 1:41.454 for Prema Racing, just ahead of Jordan King of MP Motorsport and Luca Ghiotto of Russian Time.

Norman Nato finished fourth for Pertamina Arden, while Matsushita’s best retained time saw him finish the day in fifth, with all of the best times of the day coming in the morning session due as rain affected the running in the afternoon.

DAMS duo Oliver Rowland and Nicholas Latifi completed the morning session sixth and seventh respectively ahead of ART Grand Prix’ Alexander Albon, while Rapax’s Nyck de Vries and Prema Racing’s Fuoco completed the top ten.

Ghiotto was the pacesetter in the later session with a best time of 1:42.003 with King once again second, while de Vries and Cecotto finished third and fifth respectively for Rapax, either side of Campos Racing’s Boschung.

Artem Markelov was sixth fastest in the second Russian Time machine ahead of Albon, while Raoul Hyman was an impressive eighth quickest in the session for Campos Racing in his first time in the car, although his fastest time of the day left him at the back of the twenty-car field. Matsushita and Racing Engineering’s Delétraz rounded out the top ten.

Luca Ghiotto was fastest in the afternoon session in Bahrain – Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/FIA Formula 2

Bahrain International Circuit Test Day 1 Result

11Charles LeclercMONPrema Racing1:41.4541:46.499
215Jordan KingGBRMP Motorsport1:41.6341:42.246
35Luca GhiottoITARussian Time1:41.7001:42.003
420Norman NatoFRAPermamina Arden1:41.7181:46.154
57Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:41.7771:44.581
69Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS1:42.0051:46.358
710Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:42.1041:46.211
88Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1:42.1101:43.835
918Nyck de VriesNEDRapax1:42.1211:42.307
102Antonio FuocoITAPrema Racing1:42.1671:47.687
116Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:42.2011:43.786
123Louis Del?trazSWIRacing Engineering1:42.3531:44.728
1319Johnny Cecotto JrVENRapax1:42.5961:43.722
1421Sean GelaelINOPermamina Arden1:42.6321:48.224
1511Ralph BoschungSWICampos Racing1:42.8901:43.033
1617Sergio CanamasasITATrident1:42.9501:54.103
1716Nabil JeffriMAYTrident1:42.9641:45.378
1814Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMP Motorsport1:43.1261:55.799
194Gustav MaljaSWERacing Engineering1:43.2631:54.155
2012Raoul HymanRSACampos Racing1:43.9261:44.050