Wickens holds on to top spot
|By Peter Mills||Friday, June 17th 2011, 15:58 GMT|
Robert Wickens continued his superb form at the Nurburgring by topping the second Formula Renault 3.5 collective test at the German circuit.
The Canadian's benchmark time of 1m45.433s edged out Fortec's Alexander Rossi in second by 0.021 seconds.
Wickens is just one point behind his Carlin team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne at the head of the drivers' championship, but the recently-announced Virgin F1 reserve driver has not given any thought to the prize F1 roadshow run in a Renault that is on offer to the points leader after this weekend's German round.
"The first that I have heard about the prize run was today," said Wickens. "I think Carlin has proved that they're an exceptional team today. They analysed everything after Monaco and, for the first time I can remember, all of the things we tried on the car today worked.
"We got through the whole programme that we wanted to and still had 10 minutes at the end of the session just to fool around with. But I would be surprised if Alexander and I maintained such an advantage over everyone in qualifying."
With the exception of a sizeable gap behind the top two, the session was tightly contested as the third to seventh-placed men were covered by just 0.135s.
ISR's Daniel Ricciardo led the bunch, ahead of his Red Bull Junior stable-mate Vergne. The Frenchman caused the session to be red-flagged with a minor off-track moment at the Dunlop Kurve, but later returned to the pits.
"It has been a bit of difficult day, but we know there is time in the car for qualifying," said Vergne. "I had two spins in the quick Turn 5 this morning and damaged my wheels and then this afternoon I went into the gravel. It wasn't a big problem, but I preferred to receive a push from the marshals rather than risk damaging the car by spinning my wheels."
Fresh from scoring Gravity-Charouz's maiden podium finish at Monaco, Brendon Hartley took a competitive fourth. KMP Racing's Nelson Panciatici was 0.031s ahead of the Kiwi, while Epic Racing's Albert Costa was also in close proximity.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Robert Wickens Carlin 1m45.433s 2. Alexander Rossi Fortec 1m45.454s + 0.021s 3. Daniel Ricciardo ISR 1m45.940s + 0.507s 4. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin 1m45.995s + 0.562s 5. Brendon Hartley Gravity-Charouz 1m46.015s + 0.582s 6. Nelson Panciatici KMP 1m46.046s + 0.613s 7. Albert Costa Epic 1m46.075s + 0.642s 8. Nathanael Berthon ISR 1m46.135s + 0.702s 9. Cesar Ramos Fortec 1m46.161s + 0.728s 10. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m46.277s + 0.844s 11. Daniil Move P1 1m46.330s + 0.897s 12. Jan Charouz Gravity-Charouz 1m46.411s + 0.978s 13. Sergio Canamasas BVM Target 1m46.535s + 1.102s 14. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target 1m46.632s + 1.199s 15. Fairuz Fauzy Mofaz 1m46.709s + 1.276s 16. Walter Grubmuller P1 1m46.714s + 1.281s 17. Sten Pentus Epic 1m46.762s + 1.329s 18. Michael Herck Pons 1m46.831s + 1.398s 19. Andre Negrao Draco 1m46.937s + 1.504s 20. Stephane Richelmi Draco 1m46.967s + 1.534s 21. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP 1m47.060s + 1.627s 22. Oliver Webb Pons 1m47.072s + 1.639s 23. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz 1m47.138s + 1.705s 24. Daniel de Jong Comtec 1m47.179s + 1.746s 25. Arthur Pic Tech 1 1m47.927s + 2.494s 26. Daniel McKenzie Comtec 1m47.989s + 2.556s