Aragon FR3.5 test: Rookies Rowland and Gasly lead day one
|By Glenn Freeman||Wednesday, February 26th 2014, 08:57 GMT|
Formula Renault 3.5 newcomers Oliver Rowland and Pierre Gasly led the way on the first official day of pre-season testing at Aragon.
The two drivers who fought over last year's Formula Renault Eurocup title - with now-Red Bull supported Gasly coming out on top in that scrap - headed Sauber Formula 1 reserve driver and morning pacesetter Sergey Sirotkin at the top of the times.
Afternoon set-up changes for Fortec's Rowland allowed him to mix it with Sirotkin at the top of the times as the day went on, with the Briton (pictured) setting his best lap and beating the circuit record with 14 minutes remaining.
"This morning was frustrating because we decided to run on used tyres from last year," said Rowland.
"We decided to make a lot of changes to the car, and afterwards, with new tyres, it was just about getting the most out of the tyres at the right moment."
Gasly also spent most of his day on used tyres before putting on a new set near the end, and the Frenchman admitted that his Arden team plans to focus more on new tyre runs over the remainder of the three-day test.
Only 22 of the 26 cars were in action on day one. Former champion team Carlin is sitting out the test, while ISR and Tech 1 (where Nigel Melker will join 2014 signing Marco Sorensen for day two) only ran a single car each.
This week also marks a return to single-seater action for 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series champion Roberto Merhi, who has spent the last two years racing for Mercedes in the DTM.
The Spaniard was only 20th fastest for Zeta Corse as he admitted to spending most of the day re-acclimatising to a single-seater, and he will remain with the team for the duration of the test.
COMBINED DAY ONE TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Oliver Rowland Fortec 1m38.522s 2. Pierre Gasly Arden 1m38.866s +0.344s 3. Sergey Sirotkin Fortec 1m39.107s +0.585s 4. Pietro Fantin Draco 1m39.122s +0.600s 5. Jazeman Jaafar ISR 1m39.316s +0.794s 6. Carlos Sainz DAMS 1m39.366s +0.844s 7. Matias Laine Strakka 1m39.409s +0.887s 8. Norman Nato DAMS 1m39.444s +0.922s 9. Zoel Amberg AVF 1m39.520s +0.998s 10. Luca Ghiotto Draco 1m39.668s +1.146s 11. Will Buller Arden 1m39.805s +1.283s 12. Will Stevens Strakka 1m39.862s +1.340s 13. Nikolay Martsenko Comtec 1m40.007s +1.485s 14. Marco Sorensen Tech 1 1m40.028s +1.506s 15. Nigel Melker Zeta 1m40.076s +1.554s 16. Daniil Move Pons 1m40.252s +1.730s 17. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m40.261s +1.739s 18. Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m40.492s +1.970s 19. Meindert van Buuren Pons 1m40.504s +1.982s 20. Roberto Merhi Zeta 1m40.861s +2.339s 21. Beitske Visser AVF 1m41.345s +2.823s 22. Liam Venter Comtec 1m42.984s +4.462s