Piastri shows late pace as Deletraz tops final F2 test day

Louis Deletraz

Oscar Piastri completed the third and final day of Formula 2 post-season testing with the 12th quickest time as Louis Deletraz clinched top spot with his morning flyer.

Piastri, who was the quickest rookie on Day 1 and consolidated with the 15th best time on Day 2, was second in the afternoon session on Thursday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Formula 3 champion, who will make the leap to F2 with Prema in 2021, recorded 63 laps on the day with his afternoon 1:42.784s lap just over nine tenths down on Deletraz’s morning benchmark.

Jehan Daruvala again impressed, with the Carlin driver backing up his time sheet-topping pace on the opening two days to finish second overall, 0.178s off Deletraz’s time.

While the majority of the field focused on banking laps in the morning session, some set competitive times with Deletraz firing his MP Motorsport entry to the top early on.

Daruvala fired towards the top in the final 90 minutes, with the Indian two tenths faster than his team-mate, Dan Ticktum, in fourth.

Daruvala’s fellow Red Bull junior, Juri Vips, finished third with Hitech Grand Prix, with Hitech’s Lirim Zendeli sixth.

DAMS’ Roy Nissany banked the most morning laps with 43, although he was slowest of the 22 runners.

When cars returned to the circuit following the break for the afternoon session, Charouz’s Guilherme Samaia set the fastest lap of the afternoon inside the opening hour.

Nissany demonstrated strong pace and lapped less than a tenth off Samaia, before ending the afternoon session in seventh.

DAMS’ Marcus Armstrong was first to break the 1m43s barrier in the afternoon after he took on a fresh set of Pirelli tyres, with Felipe Drugovich and Piastri doing the same.

It would be Drugovich with the quickest afternoon time, with the UNI-Virtuosi driver’s 1:42.435s lap 0.349s up on Piastri.

Prema’s Robert Shwartzman rose to fourth behind Armstrong as the session came to a close, with UNI-Virtuosi’s Clement Novalak taking fifth.

The day’s running featured a number of stoppages, with Ralph Boschung’s Campos coming to a halt on the main straight, forcing him out of the morning session.

Trident’s Bent Viscaal was another to stop on the main straight. Neither driver returned for the afternoon session.

ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire, who crashed at Turn 8 on Wednesday, also stopped on track and brought out a red flag in the afternoon.

With the afternoon session completed, it was Deletraz’s 1:41.827s which stood tallest, with Daruvala the only driver within two tenths.

The top six times of the day were set in the morning session, with Boschung still managing the eighth quickest time of the day despite recording nine laps.

ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard turned the most laps of the day with 86, with Vips (46) and Campos’ Logan Sergeant (53) recording the most morning and afternoon laps respectively.

The 2021 season, which will be run across eight events, will commence in Bahrain across March 26-28.

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