Norris Leads the Way from de Vries on Opening Day of Pre-Season Test

Lando Norris was fastest on day one in France
Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/FIA Formula 2

McLaren F1 Team juniors Lando Norris and Nyck de Vries set the pace on the opening day of the FIA Formula 2 championship test at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Tuesday.

Norris swept the day by topping the wet morning session and then following that up with the fastest time in the afternoon when the track was dry, with his fastest lap of 1:43.095s enough for the Carlin driver to finish ahead of de Vries by 0.187 seconds.

Rain affected the first morning of the first official test of the halo-shod Dallara F2 2018 chassis, with Norris leading the way with a time of 1:56.136s, which was almost nine-tenths of a second clear of MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung, while Sergio Sette Câmara ensured it was a good start for Carlin by placing his car into third.

Alexander Albon, one of the few drivers testing yet to be confirmed to a race seat, ended fourth fastest for DAMS ahead of Arjun Maini of Trident and Maximilian Günther of BWT Arden, while Roberto Merhi, another driver looking to confirm himself to a ride, was seventh for MP Motorsport.

Louis Delétraz and Antonio Fuoco were eighth and ninth respectively for the debuting Charouz Racing System team, with Santino Ferrucci completing the top ten for Trident.

Unfortunately for Albon, his morning session was ended early when he stopped at two with a mechanical issue, while earlier red flags also flew due to stoppages by Ferrucci, Sette Câmara and Delétraz.

Norris resumed his position at the top in the afternoon, while de Vries of Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing denied Carlin a one-two finish, with Sette Câmara once again ending the session in third, 0.306 seconds behind his team-mate.

Luca Ghiotto was fourth fastest overall for Campos Vexatec Racing ahead of 2017 GP3 Series champion and Mercedes-Benz protégé George Russell of ART Grand Prix, while Sean Gelael put the second Prema machine into sixth ahead of the second ART of Jack Aitken, who had failed to set a time in the morning session.

BWT Arden duo Nirei Fukuzumi and Günther were eighth and ninth, despite the latter suffering a mid-season spin, while the top ten was rounded out by Oliver Rowland, who was testing for DAMS in place of the ill Nicholas Latifi.

Circuit Paul Ricard Test Day 1 Result

118Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:56.136301:43.09529
24Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing2:00.088111:43.28232
319Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin1:57.289221:43.40129
414Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing2:00.067201:43.70733
58George RussellGBRART Grand Prix2:04.28281:43.74520
63Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing2:00.095231:43.84440
77Jack AitkenGBRART Grand PrixNo Time01:44.11534
812Nirei FukuzumiJAPBWT Arden1:59.759171:44.23235
911Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden1:57.742251:44.27726
106Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS2:12.89421:44.34525
1116Arjun MainiINDTrident1:57.591361:44.52231
1210Ralph BoschungSWIMP Motorsport1:57.037271:44.60328
1320Louis DeletrazSWICharouz Racing System1:58.619191:44.80711
145Alexander AlbonTHADAMS1:57.357281:44.9504
1517Santino FerrucciUSATrident1:58.899251:45.02325
169Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport1:58.358201:45.08629
1715Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing2:03.983151:46.16636
1821Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System1:58.780181:46.4803
192Tadasuke MakinoJAPRussian Time2:03.22981:47.05011
201Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time2:10.44313No Time13