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Wickens quickest in Paul Ricard test

Robert Wickens, Carlin, Paul Ricard FR3.5 testingRobert Wickens topped the times in the opening day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing at the Paul Ricard circuit on Tuesday.

The Canadian Carlin driver was quickest both in the morning and in the afternoon sessions, posting a 1m50.843s to outpace Epsilon's Albert Costa by less than a tenth.

Despite grey and overcast conditions, the track remained dry throughout the day.

"Today's test was really good for us," said Wickens. "We were really strong this morning, and it was a bit of a surprise to be half a second quicker as we weren't really going for a quick laptime as we were concentrating hard on our test programme.

"I didn't feel like I got the most out of the tyres this afternoon but it was still good enough to go quickest. The car just felt really good today, but I think there's still room for more improvements tomorrow."

Jean-Eric Vergne completed a strong day for Carlin, the Frenchman posting the third quickest time ahead of Fortec duo Cesar Ramos and Alexander Rossi.

Filip Salaquarda joined the ISR squad to replace Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian on reserve driver duties for Red Bull in Melbourne.

Other drivers joining FR3.5 testing were Sten Pentus, who drove for Epsilon Euskadi, and Dominic Storey, at the wheel of a Mofaz Racing car.

The test continues today.

Pos  Driver             Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Robert Wickens     Carlin           1m50.843s
 2.  Albert Costa       Epsilon Euskadi  1m50.892s  + 0.049s
 3.  Jean Eric Vergne   Carlin           1m51.016s  + 0.173s
 4.  Cesar Ramos        Fortec           1m51.093s  + 0.250s
 5.  Alexander Rossi    Fortec           1m51.108s  + 0.265s
 6.  Stephane Richelmi  Draco            1m51.371s  + 0.528s
 7.  Arthur Pic         Tech 1           1m51.487s  + 0.644s
 8.  Filip Salaquarda   ISR              1m51.569s  + 0.726s
 9.  Sten Pentus        Epsilon Euskadi  1m51.646s  + 0.803s
10.  Sergio Canamasas   BVM Target       1m51.665s  + 0.822s
11.  Daniel Zampieri    BVM Target       1m51.760s  + 0.917s
12.  Daniil Move        P1               1m51.766s  + 0.923s
13.  Kevin Korjus       Tech 1           1m51.862s  + 1.019s
14.  Jake Rosenzweig    Mofaz            1m51.886s  + 1.043s
15.  Andre Negrao       Draco            1m51.887s  + 1.044s
16.  Daniel Mckenzie    Comtec           1m52.007s  + 1.164s
17.  Nelson Panciatici  KMP              1m52.126s  + 1.283s
18.  Oliver Webb        Pons             1m52.262s  + 1.419s
19.  Brendon Hartley    Gravity-Charouz  1m52.275s  + 1.432s
20.  Jan Charouz        Gravity-Charouz  1m52.416s  + 1.573s
21.  Dominic Storey     Mofaz            1m52.605s  + 1.762s
22.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m52.867s  + 2.024s
23.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP              1m53.022s  + 2.179s
24.  Daniel De Jong     Comtec           1m53.619s  + 2.776s
25.  Nathanael Berthon  ISR              1m53.804s  + 2.961s
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Wickens stays on top at Ricard