Vandoorne on top in free practice

Belgian leads the way in Abu Dhabi

Vandoorne on top in free practice
Johnny Cecotto
Johnny Cecotto
Johnny Cecotto
Johnny Cecotto
Stephane Richelmi
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Felipe Nasr
Arthur Pic
Stoffel Vandoorne
Stoffel Vandoorne
Johnny Cecotto

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne’s push for second in the Series got underway with a strong performance in the heat of the free practice session this morning in Abu Dhabi, setting the pace ahead of his rivals and narrowly leading home Stéphane Richelmi and Arthur Pic.

The Belgian set the best time of 1:50.437 two thirds of the way through the session, edging past Richelmi by less than a tenth in a torrid session which saw the times tumble as the drivers pushed for any advantage they could find to put to use this afternoon.

The top spot changed constantly, with Johnny Cecotto, Raffaele Marciello, 2015 Sauber driver Felipe Nasr and Series champion Jolyon Palmer all taking a turn at the top of the timesheets before Vandoorne claimed it for himself 15 minutes in: after returning to the pits for fresh rubber Palmer and Richelmi went faster still but the Belgian was not to be denied, reclaiming bragging rights with a time which could not be beaten.

While most drivers went wide somewhere as they pushed the limits, no one damaged their cars with qualifying just a few hours away: behind the top three Palmer, Cecotto, Nasr, Marciello, Pierre Gasly, Stefano Coletti and Mitch Evans rounded out an incredibly close top ten, with all aiming for the top spot this afternoon.

Yas Marina – Free Practice

 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:50.437
16
2.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:50.512
20
3.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:50.548
17
4.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:50.760
19
5.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:50.855
20
6.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:50.911
20
7.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:51.012
18
8.
Pierre Gasly
Caterham Racing
1:51.032
19
9.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:51.122
18
10.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:51.137
12
11.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:51.187
18
12.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
1:51.401
17
13.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:51.402
20
14.
Rio Haryanto
Caterham Racing
1:51.427
18
15.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:51.442
18
16.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:51.464
19
17.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:51.542
18
18.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:51.658
17
19
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:51.772
11
20.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:51.931
11
21.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:52.006
20
22.
Nicholas Latifi
Hilmer Motorsport
1:52.185
21
23.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:52,321
15
24.
Kevin Giovesi
Rapax
1:52.330
20
25.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:52.514
8
26.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
2:04.662
7

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