McLaren junior Lando Norris tops F2 testing at Paul Ricard
18-year-old tops three of the six sessions and posts fastest time of the week; Mercedes junior George Russell also impresses in France
By William Esler
Last Updated: 08/03/18 4:56pm
Lando Norris laid down a marker during Formula 2 testing at Paul Ricard, topping three of the six sessions over the three days of running.
Norris is the McLaren reserve driver and will contest the 2018 season with Carlin, who are returning to the series after missing the inaugural season of F2, following the rebrand of GP2.
The 18-year-old, who won the FIA European F3 title in 2017, set the tone of what was to come in the opening session of the week, finishing nine tenths clear of the chasing pack.
Norris would finish the test with the quickest time overall, courtesy of a 1:42.226 during the morning session on Day Two.
In the sessions Norris did not top, there was still plenty to excite the British fans with GP3 champion and Mercedes junior George Russell topping the morning times on the final day of the test, just ahead of ART team-mate and compatriot Jack Aitken.
London-born Thai driver Alexander Albon headed the afternoon session on days two and three for DAMS, sporting a striking new livery for the team. With DAMS yet to confirm either of their two drivers for 2018, Albon will hope his performances secure him one of the seats.
Britain's Dan Ticktum got a run in the second DAMS on Day Three of the test and was in the top 10 in both of the day's sessions.
Others to impress included Norris' Carlin team-mate with Sergio Sette Camara a regular in the top 10, as was McLaren's Nyck De Vries for Prema, while Antonio Fuoco and Louis Delatraz ensured Charouz made a solid start to live in F2.
However, 2017 teams' champion RUSSIAN TIME were off the pace at the test, with the experienced Artem Markelov not making the top 10 at any point throughout the test. The team certainly have work to do before the opening rounds in Bahrain, but there will be a three-day F2 test at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 21-23.
The test was the first chance the teams had to properly run the new F2 2018 car which replaced the GP2/11 chassis used last season.
And with a brand new car for the teams to learn and all the drivers in identical machinery it could be an exciting season with emphasis on driver talent to shine through.
You can see every Formula 2 race live on Sky Sports F1 throughout 2018