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Palmer fastest for DAMS in first day of GP2 testing

After a morning where Caterham pair Rio Haryanto and Alexander Rossi went top, it was Jolyon Palmer who edged Mitch Evans for the best time of all in Abu Dhabi on day 1.
See full times from day 1 of the pre-season testing at Abu Dhabi

The GP2 Series officially got back to work on Tuesday, with the first of three days of pre-season testing in Abu Dhabi ahead of next month's season opener at Bahrain.

Stoffel Vandoorne had the honour of being first man out on the track in the #09 ART Dallara with others soon joining him for installation circuits. Vandoorne led the early standings in terms of number of laps undertaken, while Daniel Abt was an early visitor to the top of the timesheets for Hilmer Motorsports.

However the Yas Marina Circuit was somewhat dirty which suppressed the times for the early runners, and it was only in the second half of the morning session that conditions finally started to pick up. Mitch Evans went top for Russian Time, but his new team mate Artem Markelov then brought out a red flag when the #02 stopped on track at turn 4.

After that, Felipe Nasr (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi (Caterham) traded top times before a second red flag, this time for Abt's team mate Facu Regalia. In the time remaining before lunch, Rio Haryanto managed to edge his team mate Rossi for the top spot by 0.273s with a lap of 1:50.862s, bouncing back after earlier having a flying lap deleted for exceeding track limits.

Even though lap times had started to improve they were still more than a second and a half of those that the cars would reach int he afternoon, on a cleaner track and also with the chance to work on qualifying stints. DAMS were particularly quick on the uptake, Stéphane Richelmi soon laying down the best time of the day with a lap of 1:50.715s.

That time was quickly undercut by three tenths by Nasr, whose team mate Julian Leal was then the cause of the third red flag of the day shortly thereafter when he stopped on track at turn 14 and required a tow back to pit lane before the action could resume.

Trident's stand-in tester Axcil Jefferies was the cause of the final red flag of the day some 40 minutes before the end of the afternoon session when he spun and stalled at turn 19. By this point, DAMS' Jolyon Palmer had gone seven tenths faster than Johnny Cecotto Jr. had managed for Trident with a lap of 1:49.143s.

Palmer subsequently improved his time still further to 1:49.126s which remained the best of the day right through to the finish, although Mitch Evans did get within 0.166s of the target to put him second ahead of Richelmi, Abt and Vandoorne with Cecotto ending up sixth ahead of Nasr and Stefano Coletti (Racing Engineering.)

The second day of testing starts on Wednesday at 9am local time, with the morning session running until midday and then an afternoon session starting at 2pm after a two-hour lunch break, concluding at 5pm. Teams have been given five sets of medium (prime) compound tyres and two sets of supersort (option) tyres for the week.

See full times from day 1 of the pre-season testing at Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi test line up

#01 Mitch Evans (NZL) - Russian Time
#02 Artem Markelov (RUS) - Russian Time
#03 Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin
#04 Julian Leal (COL) - Carlin
#05 Raffaele Marciello (ITA) - Racing Engineering
#06 Stefano Coletti (MON) - Racing Engineering
#07 Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - DAMS
#08 Stéphane Richelmi (MON) - DAMS
#09 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) - ART Grand Prix
#10 Takuya Izawa (JAP) - ART Grand Prix
#11 Daniel Abt (GER) - Hilmer Motorsport
#12 Facu Regalia (ARG) - Hilmer Motorsport
#14 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - Rapax
#15 Simon Trummer (SUI) - Rapax
#16 Rene Binder (AUT) - Arden International
#17 André Negrao (BRA) - Arden International
#18 Rio Haryanto (INA) - EQ8 Caterham Racing
#19 Alexander Rossi (USA) - EQ8 Caterham Racing
#20 Daniel De Jong (NED) - MP Motorsport
#21 Jon Lancaster * (GBR) - MP Motorsport
#22 Axcil Jefferies * (ZIM) - Trident
#23 Johnny Cecotto Jr. (VEN) - Trident
#24 Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) - Venezuela GP Lazarus
#25 Conor Daly * (USA) - Venezuela GP Lazarus
#26 Arthur Pic (FRA) - Campos Racing
#27 Kimiya Sato (JAP) - Campos Racing

* denotes driver not currently signed for forthcoming season

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Johnny Cecotto (VEN) Trident at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 1 of pre-season testing. (Photo Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)
Mitch Evans (NZL) RT Russian Time at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 1 of pre-season testing. (Photo Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) DAMS at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 1 of pre-season testing. (Photo Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)
Gustav Malja F2 2017
Nobuharu Matsushita - ART Grand Prix [credit: Formula 2]
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, F2, Formula 2, Bahrain
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Artem Markelov, F2, Bahrain
Artem Markelov
Norman Nato, Bahrain F2 2017, Formula 2
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, Formula 2, 2017
Nabil Jeffri, Team Trident [Credit: Team Trident]
Alexander Albon - ART Grand Prix [GP2 Series]
Gustav Malja - Racing Engineering [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Alex Lynn - DAMS

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