A new era for the official Formula 1 feeder series today with the official shakedown day was completed by multiple teams at Magny-Cours in France.
Each team brought one car from their two car lineup for the rest of the season to the test and the main focus was set on reliability and learning how their new cars behaved. Carlin and Charouz Racing System also made their first appearance in the Formula 2 championship by attending the shake down.
A very surprising set of conditions would be thrown at the teams as the previous day had been a rather heavy snowfall over the circuit and snow still laying on the outside of the track, giving a hint to just how low the track temperature was.
All teams set a representative lap time at some point in the morning session apart from PREMA and Charouz Racing System who appeared to fall victim of pre-season gremlins. Carlin dealt first blood by topping the timing sheets but with only 10 laps under their belt. In fact only 85 laps where completed the whole morning all on the Pirelli wet weather tyre, A testament to the tricky conditions.
Following a 2 hour break the track conditions improved significantly and allowed the first slick tyre running of the day to begin. Antonio Fuoco took over from Louis Deletraz in the Charouz car meanwhile the rest of the drivers remained the same.
The remainder of the session would be very busy indeed and when the flag dropped to call an end to proceedings it was Luca Ghiotto for Campos Racing who took the fastest lap and most laps run. (29) Behind him was Maini with 28 laps and George Russell with 27 laps. In total the teams ran 240 laps in the afternoon session resulting in 325 overall and 1434 km distance covered in total.
Fastest man Ghiotto said:
“I was very surprised with the reliability. I saw all the other cars running all day long. The teams, Dallara, Mecachrome and everyone should be happy with what has been achieved today – and it’s only day one!
“The turbo engine is getting us a step closer to F1. I drove the Williams F1 car last year and I can already say that the F2 2018 car is much closer to an F1 car than last year’s machine. If any of us had a chance to drive in F1, we would be able to adapt even faster.
“Now I’m fully focused on Paul Ricard and hopefully the start of the season will come quickly because I am so bored! I feel like it’s going to be a great season with great battles again.”
The next test will begin at Paul Ricard in a few weeks time.