Hauger, Leon top testing times
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Dennis Hauger and Noel Leon topped the timesheets in their respective series yesterday as Formula 2 and Formula 3 pre-season testing kicked off in Bahrain.
The two Formula 1 feeder series began their final on-track preparations for the start of their 2024 seasons on a rain-hit day at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
But global motorsport’s budding stars overcame the unexpected conditions to get in some valuable track running, marking the first time their 2024 cars were out on the circuit together.
F2 held a single session in the evening yesterday with a heavy downpour blanketing Sakhir and Hauger going fastest for MP Motorsport.
F3 had separate morning and afternoon sessions as F3 rookie Leon of Van Amersfoort Racing set the pace on the combined timesheet.
Action at BIC continues over the next two days, with F2 having two sessions today and tomorrow from 11.45am to 2.15pm and again from 5.15pm to 7.45pm. For F3, the drivers will be out on track from 9am to 11.30am and then again from 2.30pm to 5pm.
The F2 field are testing in Bahrain after having already briefly sampled their cars in a shakedown event held in Barcelona in the last week of January. F2 is entering a new era this year with the introduction of a brandnew car. Hauger’s leading lap time yesterday was one minute 53.175 seconds.
The Norwegian completed 17 laps in the three-hour session. He was 0.176 seconds quicker than Barbados driver Zane Maloney of Rodin Motorsport.
Frenchman Victor Martins, driving for reigning F2 champions ART Grand Prix, was third on the timesheet 0.192s back. Star Fourth was Italian Prema Racing star Andrea Kimi Antonelli 0.336s from Hauger, while in fifth came American Jack Crawford for DAMS Lucas Oil, 0.690s adrift.
Fifth through 10th, respectively, in the 22-car F2 field were Briton Zak O’Sullivan (+0.732s) of ART, Juan Manuel Correa (+0.840s) from the US of DAMS, Japanese driver Ritomo Miyata (+1.010s) of Rodin, Briton Oliver Bearman (+1.268s) of Prema, and Argentinian Franco Colapinto (+1.359s) of MP. Meanwhile, Leon was the pacesetter in the F3 sessions in which 30 cars representing 10 teams were out on the tarmac. The Mexican put his team in front with a best lap time of 1:46.657 while completing 20 laps of work.
He was 0.015s quicker than German Oliver Goethe of Campos Racing, while fellow-German Tim Tramnitz of MP Motorsport was third-fastest 0.171s off Leon’s pace.
Santiago Ramos, also from Mexico, of Trident followed in fourth 0.277s behind the leader, while Italian Gabriele for defending champions Prema Racing was fifth 0.285s back.
His countryman Leonardo Fornaroli (+0.296s) of Trident followed in sixth, while rounding off the top 10 were Swede Dino Beganovic (+0.403s) of Prema, Frenchman Sami Meguetounif (+0.468s) of Trident, German lady driver Sophia Florsch (+0.537s) of Van Amersfoort Racing, and Bulgarian Nikola Tsolov (+0.551s) of ART Grand Prix.
F2 and F3 are set to kick off their 2024 seasons later this month with their first rounds supporting the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024, taking place February 29 to March 2 at BIC. The F2 season is set to feature 14 rounds while F3 will have 10 rounds.
Leonardo Fornaroli in his Trident car during F3 testing yesterday morning