19-year-old Jolyon Palmer topped the opening F2 test of 2010, as the young Briton headed both Philipp Eng and Johan Jokinen at Snetterton today (Tuesday).
Palmer set the ultimate pace in the final hour of the day as Eng finally relinquished top spot, which he had held for much of the running. The Austrian tried to respond and became the only driver to dip under the one minute barrier in both the morning and afternoon, but he fell short of Palmer’s effort by just 0.155s.
Danish driver Johan Jokinen completed his rise through the top ten by taking third late on, whilst Dean Stoneman’s morning lap time of 59.951s remained good enough for fourth overall at the finish. Will Bratt – who recently contested the GP2 Asia Series – was a consistent top six runner throughout the day and ended up fifth fastest ahead of Kelvin Snoeks. Dutchman Snoeks improved as the day progressed and eventually set his quickest time on his 99th and final lap.
Belgium’s Benjamin Bailly was seventh, ahead of Sergey Afanasiev – the Russian making progress late on during his first day of driving a Williams JPH1B. 2009 F2 returnees Tom Gladdis and Armaan Ebrahim completed the top ten, whilst Formula Palmer Audi graduate Jose Alonso Liste and F2 debutant Mihai Marinescu finished in 11th and 12th respectively.
Alonso Liste completed an impressive 110 laps during the day – the most of any driver – but it was a positive day for the majority of runners, as more than 1,800 laps and 5,600 kms were clocked during the season’s opening pre-season test day.
Jolyon Palmer said: "It was a good lap – I had the pace for the whole day so it was nice to end on top of the timesheets. Track conditions weren’t perfect but the car certainly feels better than last year. That is two test days that I have topped now so my expectations are certainly changing – hopefully that will continue and that I can be a challenger for the championship."
Philipp Eng said: "I am happy with the day – I was quickest in the morning and also went quick in the afternoon. I had some red flags just after I had put new tyres on the car in the afternoon, but it is not a problem. It is good that we’re up there but really I was not focussing too much on the time. The season is very long so I am concentrating on developing the car further and improving as much as possible."
The field will enjoy a further four hours of running tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Formula Two website will be back with live timing and reports from 9am (UK time).
Formula Two Test – Snetterton, United Kingdom 6/7 April – Day One Combined Results:
1. Jolyon Palmer, 59.512s
2. Philipp Eng, +0.155s
3. Johan Jokinen, +0.342s
4. Dean Stoneman, +0.439s
5. Will Bratt, +0.540s
6. Kelvin Snoeks, +0.542s
7. Benjamin Bailly, +0.550s
8. Sergey Afanasiev, +0.754s
9. Tom Gladdis, +0.809s
10. Armaan Ebrahim, +0.900s