Louis Deletraz ended day one of the post-season Formula 2 test in Abu Dhabi fastest, having circulated his MP Motorsport in a time of 1m48.282s.
The Swiss driver set the third fastest time in the morning session behind pacesetter Lando Norris and Jack Aitken, capping off a strong day with a new team as he shot to the top of the timing screens in the afternoon.
Alexander Albon for DAMS and Norman Nato testing with Racing Engineering rounded out the effective podium for the day, ahead of Santino Ferrucci (Trident), Nyck de Vries testing with Prema Racing and Norris, who will join the returning Carlin team for 2018.
2017 GP3 champion George Russell, who appears to be a shoe-in with ART Grand Prix next season, set the seventh fastest time of the afternoon with a 1:48.805s ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Artem Markelov, who helped the outgoing Russian Time squad to the 2017 team’s title.
Trident debutant Arjun Maini rounded out the afternoon in tenth place, while Aitken and Nicholas Latifi ensured the top 12 drivers were all separated by less than a second.
Nirei Fukuzumi and Ralph Boschung put Arden International 13th and 14th ahead of debutant Tadasuke Makino and Prema’s new signing Sean Gelael, while Ferrari junior driver Guanyu Zhou ended his first day of Formula 2 testing in 17th.
Series returnee Rene Binder ended the day with his Rapax in 18th, while debutants Maximilian Günther and Michael Dorrbecker propped up the field.