22 November 2013
Aragon: Marciello unstoppable in testing
Raffaele Marciello took a hat-trick of fastest laps in Spain.
Raffaele Marciello had been dominating proceedings in Formula Renault 3.5 testing, sitting top of the timing sheets at the close of each day. Moving from Straaka Racing to Arden Caterham for his final charge, Marciello was forced to fight for the top spot.
Indeed, top honours went to Marlon Stockinger as the chequered flag fell on the morning session. Stockinger, who finished 18th in the FR3.5 championship standings this year, was reunited with the same Lotus, his experience and understanding of the model proving to be helpful in obtaining him the fastest lap of the morning.
Fortec Motorsports were, once again, not far off the pace with Oliver Rowland placed just six tenths-of-a-second behind the Malaysian. His compatriot, Will Stevens, was third whilst Marciello could only manage fourth as he adapted to a new racing model.
The session was brought to an abrupt halt following an incident involving Nikolay Martsenko at turn one. With just seven minutes remaining on the clock, the morning test did not restart. Martsenko exited his car unharmed.
As the 3.5 engines were fired up in anger for the last time this season all drivers hoped to stake their claim on a 2014 seat. This saw a flurry of activity in the afternoon, with the top position switching between numerous drivers on track. Nick Yelloly emerged as the initial front runner of the afternoon test whilst the consistency of Will Stevens saw him place high in the standings.
However, no driver could stop Raffaele Marciello who increased the pace in the final few moments to take a hat-trick of fastest laps. The Italian was unable to beat his circuit record set yesterday but still proved to be the quickest over one flying lap. Marciello, the European F3 champion this year, is a rookie to Formula Renault 3.5. He was followed by more experienced Formula Renault 3.5 drivers, Carlos Sainz Jr, Sergey Sirotkin, Will Stevens, Marlon Stockinger and Nick Yelloly.
Now able to name McLaren F1 driver, Kevin Magnussen, among its notable alumni, this is the final appearance for Formula Renault 3.5 this year.
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