The 2021 F2 season kicked-off with pre-season testing in Bahrain as David Beckmann led the way, while Jack Aitken announced GT World Europe running.

With the 2021 F2 grid set barring the confirmation regarding MP Motorsport’s second seat, the drivers begun their programme with the first day of test action at Bahrain International Circuit. It was led by rookie Beckmann, driving the Charouz Racing System car.

Beckmann set a 1m42.844s lap in the afternoon session to lead Carlin’s Daniel Ticktum (1m43.021s), who set his best time in the morning running. ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard ended up third with a 1m43.534s lap in the afternoon session.

The Dane’s F2 teammate Theo Pourchaire slotted in fourth as Hitech GP’s Liam Lawson was fifth ahead of Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, whereas UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Felipe Drugovich slotted in seventh – he was the last of the runners to set a time under 1m43s.

It was close between Hitech GP’s Juri Vips, Prema’s Oscar Piastri and MP Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli in eighth, ninth and 10th – the trio separated by just 0.016s, as Trident’s Marino Sato ended up just outside the Top 10, ahead of teammate Bent Viscaal.

Apart from the windy weather early in the day and a stop for MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor, the first day of F2 test was relatively smooth for all, as the teams and drivers focused both on their qualifying, short and long run pace.

Here’s AM session timing from F2 test:

1 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1:43.021 14
2 Liam Lawson Hitech Grand Prix 1:43.621 17
3 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1:43.761 15
4 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1:44.095 35
5 Jüri Vips Hitech Grand Prix 1:44.143 16
6 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1:44.332 31
7 Oscar Piastri PREMA Racing 1:44.346 8
8 Bent Viscaal Trident 1:44.408 19
9 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1:44.480 13
10 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1:44.529 31
11 Marino Sato Trident 1:44.620 15
12 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 1:44.706 25
13 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1:44.859 38
14 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:44.880 21
15 Théo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1:45.038 19
16 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1:45.060 18
17 Roy Nissany DAMS 1:45.471 18
18 Matteo Nannini HWA RACELAB 1:45.486 26
19 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1:45.496 24
20 Gianluca Petecof Campos Racing 1:46.362 27
21 Alessio Deledda HWA RACELAB 1:48.816 28
22 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 1:58.546 7


Here’s PM session timing from F2 test:

1 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1:42.844 19
2 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:43.534 32
3 Théo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1:43.570 36
4 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 1:43.871 28
5 Jüri Vips Hitech 1:44.079 18
6 Oscar Piastri PREMA Racing 1:44.088 21
7 Marino Sato Trident 1:44.279 38
8 Liam Lawson Hitech 1:44.280 24
9 Bent Viscaal Trident 1:44.314 40
10 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1:44.322 28
11 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1:44.331 34
12 Roy Nissany DAMS 1:44.581 23
13 Robert Swhartzman PREMA Racing 1:44.678 18
14 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1:45.010 36
15 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1:45.134 39
16 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1:45.189 16
17 Matteo Nannini HWA RACELAB 1:45.316 27
18 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1:45.561 17
19 Gianluca Petecof Campos Racing 1:46.238 33
20 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1:48.885 24
21 Alessio Deledda HWA RACELAB 1:48.990 19
22 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1:49.637 26

A former F2 racer was in news on Monday, with Williams F1 reserve Aitken, confirming his 2021 season’s race programme. The British-Korean racer will team-up with Konsta Lappalainen and Arthur Rougier in the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe series.

The trio will drive the #114 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo in the Pro category for Emil Frey Racing, who will field another car (#163) in the category, while a third one (#14) will run in the Silver Cup class. Aitken will race in both Endurance and Sprint Cup competitions.

“I’m delighted to join Emil Frey Racing this year for both the Sprint and Endurance series,” said Aitken. “It’s very exciting to start on a new discipline and add a new set of skills to my experience in single seaters, and I can’t wait to start learning. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 has been a pleasure so far, and I hope I can add some success to its already impressive record.

“I’ve met much of the team at Emil Frey already and felt comfortable working with them from the start, they have a professionalism and attention to detail that matches anything I’ve seen so far in my career. This year will be a fantastic opportunity for me to broaden my abilities as a driver, and I intend to make the most of it.”

Here’s news on Jack Aitken’s Williams role