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March 28, 2017

Pertamina Arden ready for FIA F2 season after strong pre-season testing

Norman Nato and Sean Gelael have covered essential mileage in preparation for the first round in Bahrain

The second FIA Formula 2 Championship pre-season test headed to Bahrain International Circuit for another three day test ahead of Round 1 in Bahrain.

Day One: During the morning session opened to the glorious warm temperatures, allowing the drivers to make use of their first set of medium Pirelli compounds as they ran through their installation routines, and running through data. 

As the session came to an end for a two hour lunchbreak, Nato completed 10 laps in 4th, and Gelael in 14th with 9 laps under his belt. The afternoon session got off to a tricky start, an unexpected downpour twenty minutes in caused the session to come to a halt. All the cars came back into the pit lane to wait for the dry weather to return. 

With one hour left on the clock, the rain finally stopped and the slicks were back on the cars. Ten minutes remaining of the session, a car stopped on turn 8 causing a red flag. In the final three minutes, the cars rushed out of pit lane to get in their final laps. Nato took the chequered flag in 12th, and Gelael in 17th. 

Day 1, Morning Session Results:

P4 – Nato (1:41.178), P14 – Gelael (1:42.632)

Day 1, Afternoon Session Results:

P12 – Nato (1:46.154), P17 – Gelael (1:48.224)

Day Two: The sunshine returned for the morning session, allowing the drivers to head out on their medium Pirelli compounds. The session came to a halt at the 15 minute mark as a car stopped on Turn 13. As the chequered flag was shown, Nato came over the line to finish 6th, and Gelael in 17th. 

Following a two hour break, the afternoon session resumed where the drivers focused on race simulations and pit stop practices – luckily with no interruption of rain. The Pertamina-Arden duo finished the second day with Gelael in 16th, and Nato in 19th.

Day 2, Morning Session Results:

P6 – Nato (1:40.909), P17 – Gelael (1:42.249)

Day 2, Afternoon Session Results:

P16 – Gelael (1:47.020), P19 – Nato (1:47.379) 

Day Three: The penultimate session opened under overcast conditions, and the drivers experienced cooler temperatures than the previous two days. The closing period of the session saw pit stop practices and set up preparation take place for the opening round in two weeks’ time. Nato completed the morning session in 8th, and Gelael in 9th. 

Following one hour break, the pit lane was open for the final session in Bahrain. During the opening stages of the final session of the day, both Gelael and Nato dominated the timing sheets. 
Coming into the final hour, Nato closed in on the second fastest time. As the chequered flag fell on the final session before the opening round, seeing Nato in 3rd and Gelael in 14th.

Day 3, Morning Session Results:

P8 – Nato (1:41.180), P9 – Gelael (1:41.181)

Day 3, Afternoon Session Results:

P3 – Nato (1:42.807), P14 – Gelael (1:45.841)

After rounding off pre-season testing, both Norman Nato and Sean Gelael are ready for the opening round of  the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship, which will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 14th – 16th April.

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