WSbR Robert Wickens leads the way

Silverstone – Collective testing 1

With many of their rivals driving at Silverstone for the first time, Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) made their experience count on the first day of collective testing. Quick times abounded, leaving the outcome of the weekend's races hard to predict. Four hours of collective testing were on the programme today in the run-up to the first ever Formula Renault 3.5 Series races at Silverstone. First up, the drivers concentrated on getting to grips with a circuit unfamiliar to most. In a last minute change of personnel, Argentine driver Esteban Guerrieri replaced Claudio Cantelli for Ultimate Signature.

The first session began with Carlin Motorsport drivers Mikhail Aleshin and Robert Wickens vying for first position with Fortec Motorsport's James Walker and Fairuz Fauzy. With a lap timed at 1'37''529, it was Fauzy who came out on top.

Even in the early stages of the session, things were hotting up nicely, as Giedo Van der Garde took the lead with a time of 1'37''351. The Championship leader would not hold on to top spot for long, however, with first Robert Wickens, then Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) beating his time. Van der Garde hit back an hour into proceedings, clocking what was to be the quickest time of the morning: 1'34''385.

Behind Van der Garde, the standings were constantly changing. Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec) was lying second at this stage, ahead of Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing), Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam) and James Walker.

The afternoon session got off to a subdued start, as the minds of the drivers and their teams began to turn to their race setup. Indeed, nearly an hour had passed when things really got going.  Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Motorsport) was among the first drivers to pull in for fresh tyres. It stands to reason, then, that he was the first man to beat Van der Garde's time from the morning, with a lap clocked at 1'34''219.

As the end of the session approached, virtually all the drivers opted to change their tyres. Bertrand Baguette, then Fabio Carbone, briefly held the lead before, with just a few minutes remaining, Robert Wickens, who had been among the leaders from the start, clocked what would ultimately be the fastest time of the day: 1'33''783. Second-placed Fabio Carbone was just seven tenths of a second slower, and Bertrand Baguette was not far behind him. In all, thirteen cars - that is, half the field - were separated by less than a second on a circuit really lets drivers express themselves.

Robert Wickens: "This is the first time this season I've driven on a track that I knew, so that's one less thing for me to worry about! Carlin Motorsport have immediately produced a fast and very well balanced car. I'm really motivated because I need to score some points this weekend!"

Fabio Carbone: "Since the start of the season, we've been consistently quick in collective testing but struggled in qualifying, which makes the races that bit more difficult. So our main objective here is to do well in qualifying."

Duncan Tappy: "The car is incredible… everything about it is different from the cars I've driven up to now. Physically it's quite demanding, but I feel well prepared. My aim is to get as much driving in as possible to get used to the car and then gradually improve my performances. At the moment I'm loving every minute."

POS NUMBER DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS  1 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 16 1:34.385 - 196.0 32   2 25 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 22 1:34.523 +0.138 195.8 30   3 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 29 1:34.552 +0.167 195.7 38   4 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 31 1:34.931 +0.546 194.9 31   5 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 32 1:35.030 +0.645 194.7 33   6 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 28 1:35.074 +0.689 194.6 28   7 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 22 1:35.140 +0.755 194.5 29   8 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 12 1:35.310 +0.925 194.1 21   9 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 20 1:35.323 +0.938 194.1 22   10 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 34 1:35.354 +0.969 194.1 35   11 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 20 1:35.388 +1.003 194.0 23   12 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 30 1:35.547 +1.162 193.7 31   13 28 Esteban GUERRIERI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 24 1:35.612 +1.227 193.5 27   14 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 19 1:35.854 +1.469 193.0 23   15 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 23 1:35.888 +1.503 193.0 29   16 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 26 1:36.061 +1.676 192.6 29   17 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 16 1:36.105 +1.720 192.5 31   18 24 Fairuz FAUZY FORTEC MOTORSPORT 21 1:36.370 +1.985 192.0 21   19 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 30 1:36.580 +2.195 191.6 31   20 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 37 1:36.921 +2.536 190.9 37   21 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 24 1:37.311 +2.926 190.2 34   22 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 17 1:37.350 +2.965 190.1 20   23 12 Duncan TAPPY RC MOTORSPORT 14 1:37.425 +3.040 189.9 30   24 26 Pasquale DiSABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 25 1:37.457 +3.072 189.9 28   25 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 30 1:37.480 +3.095 189.8 34   26 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 27 1:38.506 +4.121 187.8 32  

POS NUMBER DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS  1 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 28 1:33.783 - 197.3 31   2 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 26 1:33.861 +0.078 197.1 29   3 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 25 1:33.867 +0.084 197.1 29   4 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 18 1:34.219 +0.436 196.4 30   5 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 24 1:34.249 +0.466 196.3 26   6 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 23 1:34.382 +0.599 196.1 28   7 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 28 1:34.525 +0.742 195.8 28   8 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 26 1:34.552 +0.769 195.7 30   9 24 Fairuz FAUZY FORTEC MOTORSPORT 29 1:34.586 +0.803 195.6 32   10 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 23 1:34.599 +0.816 195.6 35   11 28 Esteban GUERRIERI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 30 1:34.606 +0.823 195.6 31   12 25 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 21 1:34.730 +0.947 195.3 26   13 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 26 1:34.801 +1.018 195.2 28   14 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 30 1:34.836 +1.053 195.1 34   15 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 25 1:34.909 +1.126 195.0 28   16 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 6 1:34.960 +1.177 194.9 23   17 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 22 1:35.077 +1.294 194.6 22   18 26 Pasquale DiSABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 21 1:35.176 +1.393 194.4 24   19 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 26 1:35.202 +1.419 194.4 29   20 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 23 1:35.489 +1.706 193.8 32   21 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 29 1:35.599 +1.816 193.6 33   22 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 17 1:35.609 +1.826 193.5 26   23 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 13 1:36.012 +2.229 192.7 14   24 12 Duncan TAPPY RC MOTORSPORT 19 1:36.014 +2.231 192.7 25   25 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 11 1:36.084 +2.301 192.6 23   26 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 31 1:36.753 +2.970 191.2 33  


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