Formula Renault 3.5 is arguably the top Formula One feeder series out there along with GP2. The drivers of this series are at one of the last steps before the top echelon of motor racing. As a result, pre season testing is vital to success in the series. Getting it wrong in testing sends bad messages to potential sponsors and hampers the teams who have a lot of work to do over the long season.
Newcomer to the series and reigning Formula Renault 2.0 champion, Stoffel Vandoorne kicked off the test and his championship challenge in style by topping the first day of testing on Friday, just pipping the highly rated, and Red Bull-backed, Antonio Felix da Costa. The Belgian moved to the top of the timesheets in the closing minutes of the session with the Portuguese racer slotting in second just afterwards.
Lotus’ new recruits, Marco Sorenson and Marlon Stonckinger, were 12th and 13th respectively while Vandoorne’s teammate, Oliver Webb, was down in 17th.
Testing was canceled the next day due to bad weather. The morning saw freezing temperatures render the track useless with the amounts of ice on the surface. It seems northern Spain isn’t the most ideal testing location with Formula One testing encountering its own weather troubles on its final day on Friday. There are currently no plans for a reschedule, but there should be at some point in the near future.
Combined Friday testing times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec 1m39.913s 2. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 1m40.055s + 0.142s 3. Daniil Move Comtec 1m40.068s + 0.155s 4. Nico Muller Draco 1m40.162s + 0.249s 5. Will Stevens P1 1m40.325s + 0.412s 6. Andre Negrao Draco 1m40.398s + 0.485s 7. Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 1m40.724s + 0.811s 8. Matias Laine P1 1m40.731s + 0.818s 9. Tom Dillmann ISR 1m40.734s + 0.821s 10. Norman Nato DAMS 1m40.734s + 0.821s 11. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1m41.036s + 1.123s 12. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m41.089s + 1.176s 13. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m41.120s + 1.207s 14. Nikolay Martsenko Pons 1m41.174s + 1.261s 15. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m41.176s + 1.263s 16. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1m41.236s + 1.323s 17. Oliver Webb Fortec 1m41.320s + 1.407s 18. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m41.361s + 1.448s 19. Mihail Aleshin Tech 1 1m41.460s + 1.547s 20. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m41.496s + 1.583s 21. Nigel Melker Tech 1 1m41.752s + 1.839s 22. Mihai Marinescu Zeta 1m42.567s + 2.654s 23. Arthur Pic AV 1m42.790s + 2.877s 24. Yann Cunha AV 1m42.940s + 3.027s 25. Carlos Huertas Carlin 1m43.277s + 3.364s 26. Daniel Zampieri Zeta 1m43.304s + 3.391s