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DATE News (chronologically)
11/19/15
r2i

Parsons Takes the 'Road to Indy' with Juncos
Jake Parsons
Jake Parsons
Australian driver Jake Parsons has taken the first step on the US Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, joining Juncos Racing for the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship. After spending three ‘awesome’ days testing with the team, Parsons is excited about the future saying, "I’m delighted to be joining a winning team in Juncos as my career moves to America."

The 20-year-old Sydney resident won the 2014 AsiaCup and impressed during this year’s Formula Masters China Series, finishing as vice champion. Always keen to further his driving experience and knowledge, he has also travelled to the UK to spend time testing in the GP2 simulator, posting competitive times alongside a series front runner.

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11/19/15
fe

Mexico City to host round five of Formula E 2015-2016 season
Mexico City track
Mexico City has today been confirmed as the host city for round five of the 2015-2016 FIA Formula E Championship, subject to approval from the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in December.

The Mexico City ePrix will take place on March 12, 2016. The track is approximately 2.14km in length and subject to FIA track homologation. It will use part of the historic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with seating for around 40,000 of the world’s most passionate fans.

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11/19/15
wec

Video: Porsche Day 1 at Bahrain
The video from the AR1 YouTube site features the first practice day at Bahrain International Circuit with the Porsche 919 Hybrids and the Porsche 911 RSRs preparing for the final round of the World Endurance Championship.



Comment
11/19/15
wscc

Rum Bum Racing Exploring Options for 2016
Rum Bum Racing is looking forward to returning to IMSA competition in 2016. The team is now unveiling several exciting options to determine what the program will look like when the green flag flies at Daytona International Speedway next January, looking at both the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.

With a committed team owner, a hall of fame crew chief, and a driver roster that is the envy of the paddock, Rum Bum Racing has been delivering results since day one. The two-time champions were once again in the thick of the championship battle all the way through the final moments of the 2015 Continental Tire Challenge season.

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11/19/15
wec

Bahrain WEC: Audi turns the table on Porsche in cooler night practice
Night practice
Night practice

Audi led the way in the cooler second free practice for the Bahrain World Endurance Championship finale by over a second with a time set by Marcel Fassler.

The Swiss turned a best lap of 1m42.133s over the course of the 90-minute night session, 1.1s faster than the 1m43.291s from Audi teammate Loic Duval in the second of the two Audi R18 e-tron quattros.

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11/19/15
wec

Bahrain WEC: Porsche leads both Audis in opening practice
Leading No. 17 Porsche
Leading No. 17 Porsche
Two 90-minute free practice sessions for set-up work were on the agenda ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s finale in Bahrain. The Porsche Team with its two Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototypes enjoyed two smooth sessions on the 5.412 kilometer long Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. One was held in daylight with the other in the dark. While the temperatures were between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, the wind from the desert kept blowing fine sand onto the Formula One track.

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11/19/15
pro mazda

Dapero joins Juncos for 2016
Indianapolis, Indiana (November 19, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Nicolas Dapero has joined the team for his rookie season in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Dapero is the second driver to commit to the championship winning team''s Pro Mazda lineup.

Earlier this year Nicolas Dapero (Buenos Aires, Argentina) joined Juncos Racing''s Driver Development Program in order to make his way into the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. Dapero tested with the team throughout the year, while learning all aspects of the team, car, and series, on and off track. The young Argentinean made his debut in Pro Mazda during the series official test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course test back in June.

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11/19/15
wscc

New Look For WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Teams
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2015) – While each of the six IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class cars participating in the pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway competed in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, all have made significant changes in preparation for the 2016 endurance classic.

The two-day test concluded Wednesday with 24 cars representing all four WeatherTech Championship classes.

While Action Express Racing is bringing back both sets of season-long drivers for its cars that finished first and third in the 2015 Prototype standings, three veterans tested at Daytona for possible inclusion in the team’s endurance races.

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11/19/15
r2i

5th Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test on tap at COTA
PALMETTO, Fla. – A total of 34 drivers from 11 different nations will converge this weekend on the Circuit of The Americas, near Austin, Texas, for the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test. The acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy offers opportunities for talented race car drivers to graduate all the way from karting through the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon Indy Car Series and the Indianapolis 500. Thirteen different teams representing all three levels will be seeking to gain a head start on preparations for the 2016 racing season.

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11/19/15
nhra

NHRA TV ratings declined last year of ESPN contract
The TV audience for the NHRA Mello Yello series on ESPN declined in the cable sports network’s last season of national event coverage.

The average household viewership on ESPN/ESPN2 for final eliminations was 513,000, with a 0.3 rating, according to data furnished to ESPN by Nielsen Media. That’s down from 569,000/0.4 in 2014 and 524,000/0.3 in 2013.

Comment
11/19/15
track news

A-B Renewing Deal As Official Beer Of Daytona Int'l Speedway
Anheuser-Busch today will announce it is re-upping as the official beer of Daytona Int'l Speedway. Budweiser previously held naming rights to the season-starting Duel at Daytona event preceding the Daytona 500, but A-B dropped that sponsorship after this season's event.

A-B will brand four different bars that are being built at DIS and will retain naming rights to the infield area Budweiser Bistro. It also gets rights to use Daytona IP on packaging and point-of-sale displays, plus hospitality and other on-site activation opportunities.

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11/19/15
nassprint

NASCAR Teams receive warnings at Phoenix
Six Sprint Cup teams - including championship contender Kyle Busch's team - received warnings for inspection issues last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR announced Wednesday. Busch's team received its third warning after it failed pre-race inspection twice. If Busch's team receives a fourth warning before pit stalls are picked this weekend, his team will have to pick last for this weekend's season finale. Other Cup teams with three warnings entering this weekend are the teams of Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin and Jeb Burton.

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11/19/15
irl
nassprint

IndyCars will lap NASCAR every 5 laps at Phoenix
At 5-seconds per lap faster, the IndyCars would lap the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars once every 5 laps

Just a few days after NASCAR Sprint Cup's rain-plagued contest that determined the final four drivers in NASCAR's championship race, it was the Verizon IndyCar Series turn to hit the 1.0-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Several Verizon IndyCar Series teams participated in a test session for the Phoenix Grand Prix on April 2 - the first IndyCar race at PIR since 2005.

Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport was one of those drivers in the test session a few days after he attended Sunday night's rain-shortened NASCAR contest.

"I think the coolest part to relate if you watch the Cup race here is you know Jimmie (Johnson) broke the track record here for qualifying at 25.1 (seconds)," Andretti said. "We're going to be sub-20 seconds around here. So that's enough to get me out to a racetrack."

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11/19/15
gp2

Gasly on GP2 pole at Sakhir
Pierre Gasly enjoyed his second pole position of the season in a thrilling qualifying session at Bahrain International Circuit. The Frenchman from DAMS set a laptime of 1:39.572, 0.040s better than 2015 GP2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Ferrari academy driver Raffaele Marciello finished P3.

The session opened once again in high temperatures and under gray skies with 70% humidity. The twenty-four drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli soft tires and it was Jordan King who set the early pace in a 1:40.217 with Gasly in tow (+0.182).

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11/19/15
roc

Where to watch the Race of Champions
The 2015 Race Of Champions is coming to London on Friday and Saturday – and television coverage will be available via a range of outlets all over the world, so no one should miss out on any of the action from London’s former Olympic Stadium.

Live coverage of ROC 2015 will be broadcast on networks including...

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11/19/15
gp3

Ocon scorches to GP3 pole in Bahrain
Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon
Frenchman Esteban Ocon was on a mission today in Sakhir: The ART Grand Prix ace recorded the best time in Free Practice and then went on to claim pole position by over half a second on his first visit to the Bahraini track. The four points scored for pole has proved pivotal with the Mercedes junior now taking the lead in the title battle by two points. His fellow title contender Luca Ghiotto produced a last minute effort to sneak into second, ahead of Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon in third.

Emil Bernstorff was first to set the pace in the thirty minute qualifying session before Ghiotto took control lapping a tenth faster. There was a short stoppage in proceedings after Russian rookie Matevos Isaakyan stopped at Turn 10 in the Koiranen GP car.

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11/19/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Bernie says BBC has to stay
    Bernie says BBC has to stay
    Ecclestone says BBC cannot drop F1
  • Wurz and Whitmarsh say no to Manor boss role
  • Honda to use 'more consultants' for F1 project
  • Hamilton maligns Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen
  • Verstappen should keep racing 'damn hard' - van der Garde
  • Massa hopes for Mercedes engine parity in 2016
  • Red Bull to be ready for first 2016 test
  • COTA given extra time to pay race fee
  • Alfonso Celis joins Sahara Force India as development driver

Ecclestone says BBC cannot drop F1
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is unmoved amid reports the BBC will drop formula one.

The free-to-air broadcaster, who share the television rights with F1's main British broadcaster Sky, has a contract until the end of 2018 but reports suggest the coverage will be dropped after the BBC failed to renegotiate the deal.

F1 supremo Ecclestone, however, denied that will happen.

"Everything is great with the BBC," he told the Times. "They just want to pay less money.

"I am getting very stupid and old, so I had to ask them if they had a contract with us," added the 85-year-old. "They said they had, so I told them that we had better stick to it then."

Whitmarsh turns down Manor
Whitmarsh turns down Manor

Wurz and Whitmarsh say no to Manor boss role
(GMM) Alex Wurz and Martin Whitmarsh have each denied suggestions they might be set to succeed John Booth as Manor's new team boss.

The British backmarker has already replaced the departing Graeme Lowdon with former 'lie-gate' protagonist Dave Ryan, amid reports ex-Williams driver and current GPDA president Wurz had been identified as the favorite to succeed Booth.

But Austrian Wurz, who is contesting his last motor race in Bahrain this weekend as the world endurance championship concludes, told the BBC: "After a period of consideration, I have informed (owner) Stephen Fitzpatrick that I have taken the decision not to make myself available to Manor."

Another name linked with the job has been Whitmarsh, an experienced former team principal who worked closely alongside Ryan at McLaren.

Whitmarsh, now involved with the management of an America's Cup team, admitted to having contact with Manor but insisted: "I do not intend to become team principal at Manor."

He said he will "definitely say no" if Fitzpatrick asks him explicitly to lead the team in the post-Booth era.

Arai must have finally figured out that the F1 engine formula is too hard to figure out for his engineers
Arai must have finally figured out that the F1 engine formula is too hard to figure out for his engineers

Honda to use 'more consultants' for F1 project
(GMM) Honda has had a change of heart towards the end of its abysmally-bad return to F1 this year.

Earlier, the proudly nationalistic Japanese carmaker was refusing to speed up the process of improving by poaching experienced F1 engine personnel from outside of Honda.

But Michael Schmidt, the respected correspondent for Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, said Honda is trying a new approach.

It was already known that engine expert Gilles Simon, formerly of Ferrari and more recently the FIA, has been working as a consultant rather than an employee for Honda.

And now, "While no foreign engineers will be installed at Sakura, Honda wants to engage more consultants" for the beleaguered F1 project, Schmidt said.

Indeed, McLaren-Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are expecting a major step forward for 2016, having managed to beat only the backmarker Manor in 2015.

"If you look at the balance of power today," 2009 world champion Button is quoted by Speed Week, "then it is fair to say that the best teams will be Mercedes, Ferrari and perhaps Williams next year.

"But a lot can change in a winter. We are a team that will make massive progress. And I'm not saying 'I hope', I'm saying 'we will'," he added.

Meanwhile, Alonso's patience with the project has appeared to be flagging recently, but he insists that while it is a "difficult" period, he is in "the right place" at McLaren-Honda.

"It's been difficult," he admitted to UOL Esporte, "but in my case it has been difficult for some time. It was difficult when Red Bull was a second faster than anyone, and then last year when Mercedes was so much better as well.

"It was one of the reasons I came to McLaren, because the only way to beat Mercedes is to have a different approach. And I think I'm in the right place," the double world champion added.

He said Honda's obvious deficit has been made even more conspicuous in 2015 because the Japanese marque is a full year or more behind the other 'power unit' makers.

"The problems that Renault and Ferrari had in 2014 were much the same as what we are having now," said Alonso. "Only Mercedes has done everything right.

"But our numbers, compared to Renault's numbers and Ferrari's numbers last year, are much better. So if we do a good pre-season, we will achieve much better results than any other manufacturer," he added.

"If we get to the (winter) tests and the car is bad, it will be a big surprise because of the direction that we have been following. I am not worried that we will not be among the best teams next year," said Alonso.

I am the greatest
I am the greatest

Hamilton maligns Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen
(GMM) In one fell swoop, Lewis Hamilton has maligned three more F1 stars.

Recently, the new triple world champion had to hit reverse gear after suggesting F1 legend Michael Schumacher's record seven titles were won with questionable tactics, while his own were the result of "my natural abilities only".

Now, the increasingly controversial 30-year-old has made his latest verbal gaffe in conversation with the German magazine Sport Bild.

When asked about the quadruple world champion and likely 2016 title challenger Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton said: "I have a lot of respect for him, but it's difficult to assess how good he really is.

"He's never been in a team with someone like Fernando Alonso, but always with people like Mark Webber, who was not on his level, and Kimi Raikkonen, who is no longer at the peak of his performance," the Briton added.

Before the Sport Bild interview, Hamilton's former McLaren teammate Jenson Button warned the Mercedes driver about letting his recent success make him "arrogant".

When asked about his arguably excessive confidence, Hamilton told Sport Bild: "I would not call it self-confidence, but extreme faith in myself.

"That is the key to success," he argued.

"Before my debut in 2007, I knew it would be hard to beat Fernando, but I also knew that I could do it.

"I still remember before the first race, Ron Dennis said I shouldn't be too disappointed if Alonso beats me really badly. But I knew that it wouldn't happen," added Hamilton.

Max advised to go 100%
Max advised to go 100%

Verstappen should keep racing 'damn hard' - van der Garde
(GMM) As his meteoric and history-making first season nears its end, the compliments are continuing to rain down on F1 teen sensation Max Verstappen.

While Lewis Hamilton complained that passing was impossible at Interlagos last Sunday, 18-year-old Dutchman Verstappen stunned with his moves on Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr in an otherwise processional Brazilian grand prix.

"Max has no real weaknesses. In all areas he is already quite strong. And with more experience he will only become stronger," said his Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost.

Another impressed onlooker in 2015 has been Giedo van der Garde, who came close to becoming another Dutchman in F1 this year.

"I would have liked to race with Max," the 30-year-old, who so nearly drove for Sauber, said.

"I think definitely early in the season it would have been fun because Sauber was quite competitive," van der Garde told Red Bull's Dutch-language website.

"As the season progressed you saw how Sauber didn't improve so I think Max would have had no further trouble from me," he added.

Van der Garde admitted he has been surprised, "just like the rest of the world", by just how good Verstappen has proved to be.

Rookie teammate Carlos Sainz has also been impressive, but Verstappen has outscored the Spaniard by a factor of almost three.

"When you look at Sainz you see that he is making too many mistakes in these last races, I think because he is under pressure now," van der Garde said.

"Unlike Max, who is only getting better. Everything is working for him now and that boosts your confidence, and confidence is so important in formula one," he added.

With a strong involvement in Verstappen's career is his ever-present father Jos, and van der Garde says: "With Jos, Max has the best coach he could wish for.

"If I have any advice for him, it is to keep on doing what he has been doing. And that's racing damn hard."

Young Verstappen's manager Raymond Vermeulen, who also handled Jos' F1 career, is predicting great things for the teenager's future.

"When you see what he is already doing and what huge developments he has made, then there can be nothing other than him becoming a great driver," he said.

"Max is the first Dutchman who will win grands prix -- 100 per cent. For now we have to be realistic.

"We are in a learning curve, students in a junior team," Vermeulen added. "Red Bull is giving Max the time to learn, but that approach is eventually going to lead to something very good, that for me is a certainty.

"I think he has everything you need to become world champion."

Massa can hope all he wants, the factory Mercedes team will always get the best engines
Massa can hope all he wants, the factory Mercedes team will always get the best engines

Massa hopes for Mercedes engine parity in 2016
(GMM) Felipe Massa is hoping Williams will get back on par with its engine supplier Mercedes in 2016.

While dominant Mercedes and its customer teams are believed to have enjoyed identical equipment in 2014, Williams, Lotus and Force India fell one specification behind the German carmaker in the middle of this season.

Mercedes argued that its development specification for 2016 was not sufficiently tested for it to be released to customers, and it was also heard that the Brixworth factory was struggling to manufacture enough parts for all four teams.

Brazilian Massa hopes that all changes in 2016.

Speaking to Brazil's Globo Esporte about the tail end of Williams' 2015 season, he said: "The positive side is that we have third in the championship and that's very good.

"I certainly hope to finish the year well, but we are now looking to the last race and thinking 100 per cent for next year," the Williams driver added.

He said the specification of Williams' car will not change for the season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

"The team has been thinking about the next (2016) car for a few months now," Massa revealed, "and I hope it will be more competitive than this year and we can keeping fighting in the season."

When asked about next year's car, the Mercedes-powered FW38, he answered: "We have not tested any parts yet, but we have ideas.

"If we have the same engine (as Mercedes) we can reduce this advantage. We do not have a better car than them, but they have a very good car and an engine that is a bit better than all of the others," Massa added.

Red Bull will be ready
Red Bull will be ready

Red Bull to be ready for first 2016 test
(GMM) Red Bull is on target to make the first test of the 2016 pre-season period, engineering chief Paul Monaghan insists.

Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya has announced that it will exclusively host the only winter testing early next year, on 22-25 February and 1-4 March -- just 8 days in total.

Amid Red Bull's engine supply crisis, there had been some doubt the team and Toro Rosso could get a car ready within the next three months in time for the first four-day test.

But it now appears that Red Bull Racing will use unbranded Renault power next year, with a deal expected to be announced ahead of the Abu Dhabi finale.

"We are working towards a deal," Monaghan said, "and if one can be achieved then it will be announced in time."

As for being ready for the first Barcelona test, he added: "We will still make it, don't worry."

The rain in Austin this year killed ticket sales. That combined with the State's cutback in assistance means the promoters lost their shirt
The rain in Austin this year killed ticket sales. That combined with the State's cutback in assistance means the promoters lost their shirt

COTA given extra time to pay race fee
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that he is giving the Circuit of the Americas extra time to pay the hosting fee for this year's race, amid a reduction in state financial support.

The hosting fee, which comes in at just over $30 million, is due to be paid three months ahead of the race, but COTA organisers are still yet to present the funds almost a month after the event.

"We said they can pay late this year," Ecclestone is quoted by the Austin American-Statesman. "They get money from the state, and the money from the state is late, so that's why they are late."

Ecclestone's reprieve comes after the Texas state government confirmed that it is to reduce the subsidy it pays the track, as a result of new methods it has implemented to measure economic impact.

COTA received $25 million payments from the state in 2012, 2013 and 2014, but this is set to be cut by more than 20 per cent for 2015, to around $19.5 million, despite an annual hosting fee rise.

COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein previously admitted that the state reduction is a massive blow.

"To use a technical term, I think we're screwed," Epstein commented, adding: "It hit us cold. No one could foresee this coming. But the big question now is, 'Is the race coming back?'"

Speaking this week, Epstein stated that paying late could still prove troublesome: "It's OK paying after the race, but if they don't give you enough to pay the sanction fee, you still can't do it."

Alfonso Celis
Alfonso Celis
Alfonso Celis joins Sahara Force India as development driver
Sahara Force India is pleased to announce the signing of Mexican racer, Alfonso Celis, as a development driver. The 19-year-old will get his first experience of Formula One power behind the wheel of the VJM08 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi test – sharing driving duties with Nico Hulkenberg.

Alfonso is one of the most promising young Mexicans emerging from the junior formulas. Following karting success in Mexico, he moved to Europe in 2013 to compete in the Formula Renault NEC championship, and progressed to the GP3 Series last year. This year he raced for ART in GP3 in parallel to a World Series by Renault programme with AVF.

In his development role with Sahara Force India, Alfonso will spend time on the simulator at the team's Silverstone factory. He will also take part in seven official practice sessions at Grand Prix events during the 2016 season.

Alfonso Celis: "Ever since I started racing I've been dreaming of Formula One, so it's a huge honour to begin working with Sahara Force India. It's an amazing opportunity for me to learn about Formula One and to work closely with the engineers and race drivers. Being on the track in Abu Dhabi will be an incredible feeling. It's going to be the biggest moment in my career and I am fully focussed on doing a good job for the team."

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: "I would like to welcome Alfonso to the team and wish him well ahead of his debut with us in Abu Dhabi. As our development driver we will work hard to prepare him for the demands of driving in Formula One and provide a good grounding in all aspects of the job. It's a fantastic opportunity for Alfonso to learn from Sergio and Nico, and to get valuable mileage in the car."

Comment
11/19/15
MacauGP

Felix Rosenqvist takes provisional pole for 62nd Macau Grand Prix
F3 cars in action Thursday
F3 cars in action Thursday
Felix Rosenqvist grabbed provisional pole position for the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on Thursday, after dominating the first qualifying session.

The SJM Theodore Racing by Prema driver moved to the top of the timesheets early on and, despite strong challenges from Carlin duo Callum Ilott and Antonio Giovinazzi, he was able to keep his spot at the top throughout to end the session 0.822 seconds clear of his nearest rival.

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11/19/15
gp2

American Alexander Rossi sets early GP2 pace in Bahrain
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi

Back fresh from his F1 stint, Alexander Rossi looked on a mission in this morning’s free practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit: the American driver set the quickest laptime in a 1:41.180 – three hundredths better than newly crowned GP2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Red Bull protege Pierre Gasly finished the session in third place.

The pitlane opened in high temperature as the twenty-four GP2 cars fed onto the track with Medium Pirelli tires. Gasly was quick to find his marks on the Bahraini track to go top ahead of Raffaele Marciello.

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