Ghiotto tops Bahrain F2 pre-season test for Hitech

Valentin Khorounzhiy
motorsport.com

Ghiotto, who was set to conclude his junior single-seater career last year but has signed on for another year of F2 to partner Nikita Mazepin at Hitech, set the fastest time of the test with half an hour to go in Wednesday's final session.

His benchmark, a 1m41.252s, was just eight thousandths better than what Carlin rookie Jehan Daruvala had managed in the dying minutes of Tuesday's afternoon running.

The three-day test marked F2's first collective running with 18-inch tyres, which the series is introducing this year ahead of F1 making the same switch in 2021.

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New Red Bull junior Daruvala was the only driver to top more than one of the six sessions across three days, as he went quickest in the afternoon of day two and the morning of day three.

Daruvala's fellow rookie Felipe Drugovich made up the combined top three of the test for MP Motorsport, finishing 0.072s adrift of Ghiotto on Wednesday.

Ghiotto's former teammate Guanyu Zhou was a tenth behind Daruvala on day two, and thus ended up fourth in the combined order for UNI-Virtuosi.

Charouz's Pedro Piquet made it three F3 graduates in the top five, having topped Monday's running with a 1m41.877s and then improved by four tenths on the second day of testing.

Mick Schumacher led Prema Racing's efforts in sixth place courtesy of his time from the second day, with Campos-run Williams F1 reserve Jack Aitken making up the top seven.

Sergey Sirotkin, called up by ART to substitute for the quarantined Christian Lundgaard, was eighth, ahead of MP's Nobuharu Matsushita and Mazepin.

Ferrari-backed F3 champion Robert Shwartzman was 11th for Prema, making up a top 11 separated by four tenths. Shwartzman's former F3 teammate and title adversary Marcus Armstrong (ART) took 16th, a place behind new Williams recruit Dan Ticktum (DAMS).

Former GP2 race winner and Formula V8 3.5 champion Tom Dillmann replaced Trident's 2020 signing Marino Sato on Monday afternoon in order to provide feedback on the new tyres. His best time from that session was enough to put him 20th overall, three places ahead of Sato.

The 2020 F2 season is due to begin in Bahrain later this month, while an in-season test in scheduled for Barcelona for the beginning of April.

Testing results (combined):

Pos.

Driver

Team

Time

Gap

Laps

1

Luca Ghiotto

Hitech

1:41.252

 

137

2

Jehan Daruvala

Carlin

1:41.260

0.008

181

3

Felipe Drugovich

MP Motorsport

1:41.324

0.072

178

4

Guanyu Zhou

UNI-Virtuosi

1:41.377

0.125

195

5

Pedro Piquet

Charouz

1:41.491

0.239

178

6

Mick Schumacher

Prema

1:41.531

0.279

198

7

Jack Aitken

Campos

1:41.568

0.316

162

8

Sergey Sirotkin

ART GP

1:41.602

0.350

165

9

Nobuharu Matsushita

MP Motorsport

1:41.612

0.360

178

10

Nikita Mazepin

Hitech

1:41.634

0.382

118

11

Robert Shwartzman

Prema

1:41.655

0.403

199

12

Callum Ilott

UNI-Virtuosi

1:41.758

0.506

177

13

Louis Deletraz

Charouz

1:41.864

0.612

166

14

Sean Gelael

DAMS

1:41.911

0.659

189

15

Dan Ticktum

DAMS

1:41.976

0.724

162

16

Marcus Armstrong

ART GP

1:42.098

0.846

161

17

Roy Nissany

Trident

1:42.317

1.065

152

18

Yuki Tsunoda

Carlin

1:42.393

1.141

178

19

Guilherme Samaia

Campos

1:42.399

1.147

147

20

Tom Dillmann

Trident

1:42.468

1.216

28

21

Artem Markelov

HWA

1:42.504

1.252

169

22

Giuliano Alesi

HWA

1:43.438

2.186

170

23

Marino Sato

Trident

1:43.496

2.244

132

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