He may have gone fastest on Day 1 of pre-season testing, but Charouz Racing System’s David Beckmann was more interested in braking than accelerating, as the rookie continues to get to grips with the upgrade in machinery.
The German was enjoying his fourth official outing in a Formula 2 car after making the step-up from a race-winning season in Formula 3, and he was a surprise name at the top of the timesheets.
“It felt like I had improved from the post-season tests,” said Beckmann. “My first day in an F2 car back in December was quite hard for me, but I already felt a lot better on the second day.
“In particular, the braking was new to me because I’d never been on carbon fibre brakes before, but I think I've made a huge step in this area and improved a lot. That was actually my main problem in the post-season tests, but I am getting better every time I get into the car and there's still more potential.
“I wasn't completely on the limit, so there's still more time to find, but I think it's a good start.”
Beckmann – who also managed two top ten finishes in the post-season tests at Sakhir last year – was the only driver on Day 1 to break the 1m 43s barrier.
Earning promotion to F2 on the back two race wins with Trident, the German was trialling the soft compounds for the first time in F2, before a full day of long runs and race simulations on Tuesday.
“It’s good that I immediately made the softer tyre work,” he continued. “It was my first time starting on them, so I wasn’t completely on the limit, but it felt like a good start and it seems like we have got a good balance.
“We've still got a lot to test over the next two days and the most important thing will be to test everything and not purely focus on the times. We’ll be doing plenty more long runs tomorrow, which you don't immediately do at the start of Day 1 because of how the track is. The long runs we did do today felt really good though.
“I worked with my engineer really well and I feel very happy driving with Charouz. I think we fit really well together. I’ve got good self-confidence and a good team behind me.”