The five F1 Academy teams gathered at Motorland Aragón for two days of testing in preparation for the upcoming Round 4 at Zandvoort. The drivers took on two three-hour sessions on Day 1, battling mixed conditions as overnight rain provided an opportunity to experiment with different setups.
Jessica Edgar of Rodin Carlin expressed her confidence in driving in wet conditions before the testing began. She swiftly demonstrated her mastery of mixed conditions by topping the time sheets early on in the first session. However, her reign at the top was short-lived as Léna Bühler, fresh off her debut win in Barcelona, climbed to the summit. Bühler’s consistent performances this season have propelled her up to third place in the standings.
As the overcast conditions gradually gave way to the Spanish sun, lap times began to tumble. Series leader Marta García stormed to the top of the time charts with a blistering time of 2:00.702, closely followed by Abbi Pulling of Rodin Carlin with a time of 2:00.834.
Maite Cacères of Campos Racing was pleased to gain valuable track time after a few weeks break. Completing 19 laps in the morning session, she expressed her satisfaction with the team’s progress and the focus on improving in the second half of the season.
Despite predictions of a heavy thunderstorm, the afternoon session remained clear, allowing all fifteen drivers to continue their testing efforts. MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi took charge and set the fastest overall time of the day with an impressive 2:00.439. The Dutch team, leading the standings after victories in Race 1 and Race 3 in Barcelona, aims to extend their lead at their home race in Zandvoort.
Nerea Martí of Campos Racing secured second place, less than a tenth of a second behind Al Qubaisi. It was her first appearance at the track.
“Today was good and we were trying some different things” said Al Qubaisi. “The track is really nice, I had never been here but it’s really technical and there are fast corners. It is good for us to work on pushing entry and gaining some speed in the corners – many of which you can find in other tracks. Tomorrow may be different weather, hopefully, it rains so I can get some practice there too!”