CLICK: Full times from the final day of GP2 testing at Abu Dhabi
DAMS' Pierre Gasly confirmed his position as the post-season test's breakout talent of the week by going fastest in both of Saturday's GP2 sessions at Yas Marina Circuit, completing his sweep of topping the times on all three days at Abu Dhabi with a final evening effort of 1:48.231s proving to be the fastest time of the week on the 3.451-mile, 21-turn track.
In an uninterrupted noon session, the 2014 championship-winning team had once again got off to a quick start with Gasly's team mate Esteban Ocon going to the top with a time of 1:50.189s putting him ahead of Jordan King who had switched from Arden to MP Motorsport for the final day of testing. Kevin Ceccon briefly went top in the Rapax, but it was predictably Gasly who soon went quicker still with a time of 1:49.455s on the 3.451-mile, 21-turn Yas Marina Circuit.
King, Ocon and Rio Haryanto (back in the Campos Racing car for a second day) closed the gap to Gasly by both managing to dip under the 1:50s mark, but Gasly improved his time still further to put himself over half a second clear of the rest of the field with a hugely impressive lap of 1:49.346s in the full heat and glare of the desert sun.
The evening session started much as the daytime session had done, with Ocon setting the initial pace again with a lap of 1:49.654s to put him ahead of Raffaele Marciello, who was back in his familiar Racing Engineering seat after trying out the Status Grand Prix car for size on Friday. Predictably Ocon was soon displaced by his DAMS team mate when Gasly went to the top, and Campo Racing's Arthur Pic also briefly ousted Ocon from second until the 18-year-old Frenchman was able to go back in front of his compatriot with a new effort of 1:48.798s.
The first red flag of the day came out just after the halfway point of the floodlit session when 19-year-old Dutch driver Beitske Visser - the first female driver ever to participate in an official GP2 Series test- stopped at turn 3 in the Venezuela GP Lazarus car following a gearbox failure.
With most drivers knuckling down to some basic race simulation work there was no time remaining for anyone to improve on Gasly's time, leaving the Frenchman unassailed at the top of the timesheets ahead of Ocon, Pic, King, Sergey Sirotkin (Rapax) and Haryanto by the time a late red flag came out in the final minutes of the session for 2014 GP3 champion Alex Lynn, who had stopped at turn 19 in the ART.
That proved to be the last action of the year for the GP2 team and drivers, all of whom get to pack up and head home to spend the winter off-season relaxing and preparing for a brand new season in 2015. There will be another opportunity for pre-season testing before the start of the campaign, with the dates to be confirmed in due course.
See full times from the final day of GP2 testing at Abu Dhabi