Paul Ricard Test Ends with ART GP Duo Russell and Aitken On Top

George Russell was fastest on day three
Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/FIA Formula 2

Three drivers with links to Formula 1 teams led the way on the third and final day of the first FIA Formula 2 championship pre-season test at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Thursday.

Mercedes-Benz Junior George Russell and Renault Sport Formula One Team reserve driver Jack Aitken ended the final day of the first pre-season test of 2018 first and second for ART Grand Prix, while the McLaren F1 Team-backed Nyck de Vries made it a trio of F1 juniors in third for Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing.

The top three all set their best times in the morning session, with Russell’s 1:42.396s just under two-tenths of a second clear of his team-mate, while de Vries was almost two-tenths further back in third.

Alexander Albon was fourth fastest in the morning for DAMS, ahead of Louis Delétraz of Charouz Racing System, while Carlin duo Sergio Sette Câmara and Lando Norris ended sixth and seventh respectively ahead of BWT Arden duo Maximilian Günther and Nirei Fukuzumi.

Completing the top ten was the Red Bull-backed Daniel Ticktum, who took over the second DAMS machine from fellow Briton Oliver Rowland for the final day, as the two drivers continued to stand in for the ill Nicholas Latifi.

There were three red flags during the morning session, with Roy Nissany causing the first one when he stopped on the Mistral Straight, before Antonio Fuoco caused the second, while the third was caused when Artem Markelov and Ralph Boschung stopped within seconds of each other.

Albon set the best time of the afternoon session, with his lap of 1:42.923s 0.002 seconds faster than what he managed in the morning, while Arjun Maini of Trident was second fastest ahead of Norris, Ticktum and Günther.

Charouz team-mates Delétraz and Fuoco were sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Sette Câmara, while Luca Ghiotto of Campos Vexatec Racing and Tadasuke Makino of Russian Time completed the top ten.

Günther caused the first of two red flags in the afternoon session early, with the second being caused when Sean Gelael stopped on track with little over twenty minutes remaining in the second Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing machine.

The second and final three-day test will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 21-23 March, before the season gets underway at the same venue on 6-8 April.

Alexander Albon topped the afternoon session
Alexander Albon was fastest in the afternoon session – Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/FIA Formula 2

Circuit Paul Ricard Test Day 3 Result

18George RussellGBRART Grand Prix1:42.396471:44.35660
27Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix1:42.588561:45.28226
34Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:42.759321:44.74248
45Alexander AlbonTHADAMS1:42.925491:42.92335
516Arjun MainiINDTrident1:43.851401:43.06136
620Louis DeletrazSWICharouz Racing System1:43.239431:43.42850
719Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin1:43.269251:43.59736
818Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:43.287291:43.27639
96Daniel TicktumGBRDAMS1:43.503431:43.31040
1011Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden1:43.350351:43.33049
1112Nirei FukuzumiJAPBWT Arden1:43.501281:44.84431
1221Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System1:43.899251:43.57248
131Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:43.575411:44.25033
1414Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing1:43.755301:43.61035
153Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:43.731311:43.99846
1610Ralph BoschungSWIMP Motorsport1:43.948261:44.16315
172Tadasuke MakinoJAPRussian Time1:44.164461:43.96130
1817Santino FerrucciUSATrident1:44.239481:43.98513
1915Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing1:44.048351:44.78246
209Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport1:44.377491:44.90931