Lots of testing news!

Dani Clos remains at Addax, and Brendan Hartley remains at Ocean, for the second weekend of racing in Bahrain. The weekend will be compacted into two days, and all sessions will be live on Sky as usual. There are no grid penalties carried over from the last weekend.

A young drivers’ test has been scheduled for after Silverstone, though teams have the option to perform one at Abu Dhabi instead. All but the two Red Bull teams have gone for the Silverstone option, probably for ease of access (most teams being based in the UK) and the useful positioning of the test in the season. However, teams will be able to make a last-minute change to Abu Dhabi should the weather forecast for Silverstone look bad.
Before that there is testing at Mugello, and the first day will be mostly given over to test drivers including Jules Bianchi, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Valtteri Bottas and Rodolfo Gonzalez. HRT will not be attending test in order to focus on moving their headquarters. Despite the rumours, Lewis Hamilton will not be taking part in the test. As reported, McLaren will be the only team soley relying on their test drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey.

Testing has been going ahead at Portimao today ahead of the second round of the championship. One name has dominated each session. The day began with a damp track but things quickly dried out. Silverstone race 1 polesitter Matheo Tuscher was second-fastest in the first session, followed by Dino Zamparelli. In the second session, Mihai Marinescu was second-fastest ahead of Tuscher. The third session saw David Zhu go just 0.05s slower than the fastest man, with Kevin Mirocha some way behind in third.
The final session saw a new fastest man in Mihai Marinescu. Kevin Mirocha was second, a thousandth slower than the Romanian. Birthday boy and championship leader Luciano Bacherta was third-fastest, 78 thousandths slower than Marinescu. The fourth-placed driver was less than a tenth off as well, and it remained close with the top thirteen drivers under a second apart. This promises great racing at the weekend. Marinesu’s 1:33.871 was the fastest time of the day.

Continuing the testing talk, the Eurocup drivers were – mostly – out in force at Navarra. Formula Renault UK graduate Oliver Rowland came out top for Fortec, setting a time just over a tenth faster than Tech 1’s Oscar Tunjo. Columbian Tunjo is part of Lotus’s driver development program. In third was Swede Timmy Hansen for Interwetten, and in fourth was Russian Daniil Kvyat, who also celebrates his birthday today. Nyck de Vries was fastest of the drivers also competing in the NEC, and was fifth overall, 0.3s slower than Rowland. Manor MP did not take part in the test.


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