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F2 NEWS 

Formula 2 holds first pre-season test

Robert WickensThe new Formula 2 championship held its first pre-season test day at Snetterton yesterday with all 24 cars running for the first time.

The sessions were untimed but former GP2 driver Andy Soucek says he was pleased with the feel of the Williams F1-designed car.

"I have a very good feeling about this car and the championship," he said. "I have done four years of Formula 3, one year of Formula Renault 3.5 and two years of GP2 so I'm used to these type of cars, but the Williams JPH1 surprised me.

"The levels of downforce exceeded my expectations, the grip levels are good and once we have the new Avon tyre tomorrow it should be even more fun to drive. It is easier to follow another car than in F3 and GP2 as you don't lose so much aero. It means that being behind someone really permits you to get close to them, so I'm sure we will see a lot of overtaking this year."

The test will continue at Snetterton today when the cars will run on the championship's Avon control tyre for the first time and times will be recorded in the afternoon session.

F2 boss Jonathan Palmer added: "Today has gone far better than I had dared to expect. All 24 cars have run and been amazingly trouble free.

"I really believe we are making history. The combination of high performance, F1 safety standards and 16 European races - all for just 200,000 - was disbelieved when the FIA first invited tenders, but now with a full grid of drivers and the cars all complete, the reality has arrived."

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