Louis Delétraz, Arjun Maini and Alexander Albon all topped test days around the Yas Marina Circuit as the 2017 on-track action in the FIA Formula 2 Championship concluded with a three-day test in Abu Dhabi.
Delétraz, who raced for Racing Engineering and Rapax during the 2017 season, topped the opening day for MP Motorsport with a best time of 1:48.282s, just 0.045 seconds ahead of Albon, who ran with DAMS after finishing the season with a podium finish at the same circuit for ART Grand Prix.
Norman Nato ended third fastest for Racing Engineering ahead of Santino Ferrucci of Trident, while Prema Racing’s Nyck de Vries ended fifth and the first of those who’s 2018 plans have already been confirmed.
Lando Norris, who will race for Carlin in 2018, tested with Campos Racing and finished the first day sixth fastest, with the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 champion finishing just ahead of 2017 GP3 Series champion George Russell, who tested for ART Grand Prix.
Luca Ghiotto, a race winner for Russian Time in 2017, was eighth fastest for MP Motorsport, while Artem Markelov of Russian Time and Maini of Trident completed the top ten on the opening day.
Other drivers making their Formula 2 testing debuts were Nirei Fukuzumi, who tested alongside Ralph Boschung at Arden International, European Formula 3 racers Tadasuke Makino, Guan Yu Zhou and Maximilian Günther, who ran with Russian Time, Rapax and Racing Engineering respectively, and Michael Dorrbecker, who joined Norris at Campos Racing.
Maini switched to Russian Time for day two, and despite seeing his morning times deleted for having an underweight car, he headed the times thanks to his afternoon best of 1:48.645s, with Delétraz second fastest, again with MP Motorsport, ahead of Albon.
De Vries was fourth fastest ahead of Norris and Ferrucci, while Jack Aitken, the runner-up in GP3 in 2017, was seventh for ART Grand Prix ahead of DAMS’ Nicholas Latifi, Makino and Oliver Rowland, who tested with Racing Engineering as he continues to evaluate his options for 2018.
As well as Rowland joining the field, 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi joined the test with Trident, finishing eighteenth fastest, while Julien Falchero also made his first appearance for Arden International, with the Frenchman finishing just behind Fittipaldi in nineteenth.
Albon, who is expected to make the move to DAMS permanent for the 2018 season, ended the three-day test with the best time overall thanks to a lap of 1:48.110s in the evening session, with Nato second fastest, this time for Rapax, while de Vries concluded his first test with Prema Racing in third.
Aitken ended fourth fastest ahead of Delétraz and Latifi, with Maini, Ghiotto, Makino and Rowland completing the top ten, while Leonardo Pulcini had his first taste of Formula 2 machinery with Campos Racing, as did Thiago Vivacqua with Racing Engineering.