Thirty-two drivers participated in the opening day of pre-season testing at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari on Wednesday as preparations for the first season of Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine intensified.
The championship has been formed following the merger of Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Regional European Championship, and it has seen a much-improved number of entries after the individual categories were struggling to fill the grid.
R-ace GP’s Hadrien David, dropped by the Renault Sport Academy at the end of 2020, ended the day with the fastest time overall, with the Frenchman topping both the morning and afternoon sessions at the home of the Emilia Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix.
David’s best time of 1:38.523 was enough for him to hit top spot, although it was a close-run thing between him and ART Grand Prix’s Grégoire Saucy, with just 0.003 seconds separating the duo.
Such was the competitiveness of the field, the top twenty drivers were all within eight-tenths of a second of David’s time, with R-ace GP’s Zane Maloney and Isack Hadjar finishing the day third and fourth fastest, just 0.038 and 0.043 seconds respectively behind the best time. For Hadjar, it ensured he concluded the day as the best rookie.
Fifth and sixth came two Arden drivers in William Alatalo and Alex Quinn, with KIC Motorsport’s Patrik Pasma seventh despite causing a red flag for spinning into the gravel at the second turn.
Van Amersfoort Racing also had a driver place inside the top ten, with Francesco Pizzi ending eighth ahead of Monolite Racing’s Pietro Delli Guanti and MP Motorsport’s Kas Haverkort. Haverkort was the only driver in the test not yet confirmed to race in 2021, but the talented Dutchman is expected to take up the third seat at the team this season.
The leading Prema Powerteam driver was Ferrari Driver Academy star Dino Beganovic in eleventh, with the Swede finishing just ahead of ART Grand Prix duo Gabriele Mini and Thomas ten Brinke. The other Prema drivers were fourteenth and fifteenth, David Vidales ahead of Paul Aron.
Gabriel Bortoleto was the best placed DR Formula driver in sixteenth ahead of FA Racing’s Andrea Rosso, while Franco Colapinto was only eighteenth for MP Motorsport, albeit only 0.738 seconds off the overall best time.
Elias Seppänen of KIC Motorsport and Lorenzo Fluxá of Van Amersfoort Racing completed the top twenty.
Only two drivers – Alexandre Bardinon and Nico Göhler – failed to improve their time from the morning session when testing resumed in the afternoon, while R-ace GP’s Léna Bühler failed to appear on the track after the lunch break after hurting her hand during the morning session.
As well as Pasma, Bardinon was another driver to cause a red flag by stopping on track, as was JD Motorsport’s Eduardo Barrichello.
Testing continues at Imola on Thursday with two more sessions for the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine drivers to ready themselves for the start of the new season.
|1||Hadrien David||FRA||R-ace GP||1m38.523||72|
|2||Gregoire Saucy||SWI||ART Grand Prix||1m38.526||+0.003s||67|
|3||Zane Maloney||BAR||R-ace GP||1m38.561||+0.038s||71|
|4||Isack Hadjar||FRA||R-ace GP||1m38.566||+0.043s||55|
|7||Patrik Pasma||FIN||KIC Motorsport||1m38.821||+0.298s||62|
|8||Francesco Pizzi||ITA||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m38.832||+0.309s||52|
|9||Pietro Delli Guanti||ITA||Monolite Racing||1m38.852||+0.329s||68|
|10||Kas Haverkort||NED||MP Motorsport||1m38.889||+0.366s||64|
|12||Gabriele Mini||ITA||ART Grand Prix||1m38.909||+0.386s||69|
|13||Thomas ten Brinke||NED||ART Grand Prix||1m38.964||+0.441s||66|
|16||Gabriel Bortoleto||BRZ||DR Formula||1m39.074||+0.551s||78|
|17||Andrea Rosso||ITA||FA Racing||1m39.105||+0.582s||77|
|18||Franco Colapinto||ARG||MP Motorsport||1m39.261||+0.738s||51|
|19||Elias Seppänen||FIN||KIC Motorsport||1m39.311||+0.788s||77|
|20||Lorenzo Fluxá||ESP||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m39.319||+0.796s||70|
|22||Oliver Goethe||DEN||MP Motorsport||1m39.604||+1.081s||63|
|23||Brad Benavides||USA||DR Formula||1m39.657||+1.134s||61|
|24||Mari Boya||ESP||FA Racing||1m39.753||+1.230s||75|
|25||Emidio Pesce||ITA||DR Formula||1m39.794||+1.271s||60|
|26||Tommy Smith||AUS||JD Motorsport||1m40.044||+1.521s||77|
|27||Eduardo Barrichello||BRZ||JD Motorsport||1m40.112||+1.589s||65|
|29||Jasin Ferati||SWI||Monolite Racing||1m40.163||+1.640s||74|
|28||Alexandre Bardinon||FRA||FA Racing||1m40.172||+1.649s||59|
|30||Axel Gnos||SWI||G4 Racing||1m40.216||+1.693s||78|
|31||Léna Bühler||SWI||R-ace GP||1m41.486||+2.963s||30|
|32||Nico Göhler||GER||KIC Motorsport||1m41.699||+3.176s||48|