March 15, 2017

Nato tops opening test of the newly formed FIA Formula 2 Championship

Frenchman Norman Nato took his Pertamina Arden car to the top of the timesheets at the first FIA F2 test in Barcelona, Spain

The 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship got underway for the first of the pre-season tests at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where Pertamina Arden driver Norman Nato ended the test with the fastest time overall.

The morning session started under overcast but dry conditions, with Sean Gelael being the first driver out on track as soon as the lights went green. Frenchman Norman Nato got off to a great start in the morning session, taking the chequered flag in 5th, with Gelael not far behind in 10th.

As the afternoon session got underway, Gelael was the first driver to set a competitive time. Day one testing completed with Nato in 3rd, and Gelael in 12th.

Day 1, Morning Session Results:

P5 – Nato (1:29.674), P10 – Gelael (1:30.162)

Day 1, Afternoon Session Results:

It was beautiful sunny conditions for day two of testing at Barcelona, and the team wasted no time in getting out onto the circuit. Nato lead the way in the first hour of the morning session, then a red flag emerged for the first time. Once the lights went green and the session got underway once again, Nato completed the morning session in 5th, and Gelael in 17th. 

The afternoon session saw the team in race simulation laps, Nato completing very competitive lap times. Gelael was showing incredible pace for the first half of the session, sitting in second place. As the day came to a close, Gelael finished the session in 9th, and Nato in 19th.

P5 – Nato (1:28.445), P17 – Gelael (1:29.906)

Day 2, Afternoon Session Results:

The penultimate test session in Barcelona saw Norman Nato grab the top spot in the morning session, and setting the fastest time throughout the whole session of 1:27.834. Under more glorious sunny
conditions, Nato stopped on his out lap due to small reliability niggles, causing a red flag along with two other cars stopping out on track.
The circuit went green shortly after, and Nato set a target half way through the session that could not be reached. Gelael finished the session in 7th.

As the final session of the Barcelona test came underway, Nato was quick on the pace, setting another unbeatable time. The Frenchman grabbed the Day 3 Honours, as he completed the session in 1st, with Gelael just behind in 7th.

Day 3, Morning Session Results:

P1 – Nato (1:27.834), P7 – Gelael (1:28.385)

Day 3, Afternoon Session Results:

P9 – Nato (1:33.050), P17 – Gelael (1:34.427)

The FIA F2 team will be back in action for further pre-season testing at Bahrain in two weeks time - ready to make final preparations for the opening round of the championship on the 14th-16th April alongside the Formula One World Championship.

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