Three months on from the 2020 championship finale, FIA Formula 2 was back in the Bahrain desert for the only pre-season test ahead of the season opening race again at the Sakhir International Circuit.
And a late lap from 2021 Charouz rookie David Beckmann was good enough to end the day quickest in what was his first taste of the Formula 2 car.
The German set his lap with less than 20 minutes to go and blitzed the previous best set by Christian Lundgaard. The Dane ended up almost seven tenths off Beckmann with his teammate Théo Pourchaire in third.
Felipe Drugovich wasted no time in getting comfortable with his new UNI-Virtuosi car ending the afternoon session fourth ahead of Hitech GP’s Juri Vips.
Topping the morning times was Carlin’s latest recruit Dan Ticktum as he ended the session six tenths clear of the next best car.
Ticktum performed admirably at times last year but lacked the consistency required to be a front-runner but he has been impressive ever since switching to Carlin from DAMS where he raced in 2020.
He headed 2021 rookie Liam Lawson of Hitech GP as the Red Bull backed New Zealander seemed to settle into F2 machinery with ease.
Ticktum’s teammate Jehan Daruvala finished the day third fastest and is hotly tipped to be a title contender after a breakthrough weekend in Bahrain to end the 2020 season.
Further rookies Lirim Zendeli, Oscar Piastri and Bent Viscaal all impressed in the morning session but title-favourite Robert Shwartzman didn’t complete a competitive lap time for PREMA.
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||1:43:621|
|4||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||1:44:095|
|5||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||1:44:143|
|13||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1:44:859|
|18||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||1:45:486|
|21||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||1:48:816|
|5||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||1:44:079|
|8||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||1:44:280|
|14||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||1:45:010|
|15||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1:45:134|
|17||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||1:45:316|
|21||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||1:48:990|