Nato ends first Formula 2 test on top for Arden

Norman Nato was quickest on the final day of testing in Spain, setting the fastest time of the whole test - Credit: Alastair Staley/FIA Formula 2

The first FIA Formula 2 Championship test concluded on Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and it was Frenchman Norman Nato who ended it on top, with the Frenchman setting the fastest time of the week.

Nato, who has switched across from Racing Engineering to Permamina Arden for the 2017 season, made the most of the sunny conditions in the morning session to set a best time of 1:27.834 to lead the way by 0.054 seconds from DAMS driver Oliver Rowland.

The only other driver to dip beneath the 1:28 barrier was day two pacesetter Alexander Albon, but for the first time in the three days of testing, ART Grand Prix did not set the quickest time overall.

Behind the top three came McLaren Junior Team driver Nyck de Vries, who continued to impress for Rapax, with Russian Time duo Luca Ghiotto and Artem Markelov both inside the top six ahead of the second Arden of Sean Gelael.

Nicholas Latifi was eighth on the timing charts in the second DAMS machine, while defending Teams’ champions Prema Racing rounded out the top ten, with reigning GP3 Series champion Charles Leclerc finishing ahead of fellow Ferrari Driver Academy racer Antonio Fuoco.

Much like on day two, the afternoon session was for the majority of drivers and teams reserved for long runs and race simulations, but it was Ghiotto who lead the way with a best time of 1:29.565 ahead of Rapax duo Johnny Cecotto Jr and de Vries.

Former Formula 1 racer Roberto Merhi, who is hoping to race in Formula 2 with Campos Racing in 2017, ended fourth fastest ahead of Trident’s Sergio Canamasas and the second Campos of Swiss teenager Ralph Boschung, while Fuoco was seventh ahead of Rowland, Nato and Louis Delétraz of Racing Engineering.

Testing resumes 29-31 March at the Bahrain International Circuit, just prior to the opening race of the season at the same circuit.

Luca Ghiotto was quickest in the afternoon session – Credit: Alastair Staley/FIA Formula 2

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Test 1 Day 3 AM Times

120Norman NatoFRAPermamina Arden1:27.834
29Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS1:27.888
38Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1:27.939
418Nyck de VriesNEDRapax1:28.103
55Luca GhiottoITARussian Time1:28.177
66Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:28.245
721Sean GelaelINOPermamina Arden1:28.385
810Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:28.391
91Charles LeclercMONPrema Racing1:28.421
102Antonio FuocoITAPrema Racing1:28.649
1114Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMP Motorsport1:28.661
1211Ralph BoschungSWICampos Racing1:28.673
1319Johnny Cecotto JrVENRapax1:28.692
143Louis Del?trazSWIRacing Engineering1:28.811
1515Jordan KingGBRMP Motorsport1:28.816
164Gustav MaljaSWERacing Engineering1:28.837
1717Sergio CanamasasITATrident1:28.859
187Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:28.901
1912Roberto MerhiESPCampos Racing1:29.486
2016Nabil JeffriMAYTrident1:29.643

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Test 1 Day 3 PM Times

15Luca GhiottoITARussian Time1:29.565
219Johnny Cecotto JrVENRapax1:29.827
318Nyck de VriesNEDRapax1:29.991
412Roberto MerhiESPCampos Racing1:31.057
517Sergio CanamasasITATrident1:31.149
611Ralph BoschungSWICampos Racing1:31.706
72Antonio FuocoITAPrema Racing1:32.499
89Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS1:32.709
920Norman NatoFRAPermamina Arden1:33.050
103Louis Del?trazSWIRacing Engineering1:33.123
114Gustav MaljaSWERacing Engineering1:33.293
128Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1:33.363
137Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:33.595
1415Jordan KingGBRMP Motorsport1:33.926
156Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:33.947
161Charles LeclercMONPrema Racing1:33.956
1721Sean GelaelINOPermamina Arden1:34.427
1810Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:34.713
1916Nabil JeffriMAYTrident1:34.846
2014Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMP Motorsport1:35.078