A rookie driver went fastest for the second day running of pre-season testing at Sakhir, Bahrain, as Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala beat out the experience of 2019’s best debutant, Guanyu Zhou, and fellow F3 graduate, Pedro Piquet, for top spot in the standings.

The field were fast out of the shutters in the first session of the day, with all bar Jack Aitken getting out there in the opening 15 minutes. Of those, it was Zhou who went fastest, testing the water on a sandy track with a tour of 1:46.041.

There was red flag period as Nikita Mazepin stopped on track, before order resumed and Callum Ilott replaced his teammate at the top of the chart. The Briton was swiftly pipped by Artem Markelov, as the Russian took the times below 1m 44s for the first time. Shortly after, he was joined in the top two by his new teammate Giuliano Alesi, as newcomers HWA RACELAB started to find their feet.

Impetus switched to longer runs and garage work for the next hour, as Markelov remained untouched at the top of the order. Aitken and Luca Ghiotto both enjoyed spells propping up the Russian, with similar times, while undertaking more than 100 laps between the three of them.

There was a late flurry of laptimes as the session drew to a close, with Mazepin roaring round in 1:43.825 to take the morning’s fastest lap with less than 10 minutes to go. Ghiotto got within 0.005s of his tour, ahead of Markelov, who only missed out himself by 0.057s.

Mazepin picked up from where he left off as the cars returned to the windy circuit for the afternoon session, with the sun setting on the Sakhir desert. The Russian took less than half an hour to beat the fastest time from the morning, as they dropped below 1m 42s for the first time on Day 2. He was backed up by the continually impressive Daruvala, thriving with Carlin on just his second day in F2 machinery.

Robert Shwartzman had been quiet in the opening day and a half of testing, but made his maiden appearance in the top three of times early during the afternoon, as he began to get to grips with his PREMA.

The rookies were running the show at this point, as teammates Daruvala and Yuki Tsunoda jumped to first and second on their 10th tour of the track this afternoon. Experience made a comeback though, as Aitken, Ghiotto and Sean Gelael stole the top three places in one fell swoop, by slashing the times to below 1m 42s for the first time in testing.

Shwartzman managed to squeeze his way back into that three as he continued to show what he is capable of in an F2 car. Sergey Sirotkin (ART) then came to the fore, as the session entered its final half hour; the Russian nudged ahead of Zhou in the standings, going just 0.075s quicker.

The script was yet again re-written in the very final moments, when Daruvala thundered around the track to set the fastest time and further solidify his growing confidence. The Indian racer set 1:41.260 on his final tour, before diving into the garage to cap off a successful day’s work.

Zhou, Piquet and Mick Schumacher also all set fast laps on their final tour of the Bahrain International circuit, to complete the top four places, pushing Sirotkin down to fifth. Aitken, Ilott, Nobuharu Matsushita, Felipe Drugovich and Shwartzman completed the top ten.

2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship - pre-season tests, Day 2, morning session

DRIVERTEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Nikita MazepinHitech Grand Prix1:43.82519
2Luca GhiottoHitech Grand Prix1:43.83029
3Artem MarkelovBWT HWA RACELAB1:43.88223
4Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi1:43.97831
5Jack AitkenCampos Racing1:43.98636
6Giuliano AlesiBWT HWA RACELAB1:44.98732
7Marino SatoTrident1:45.25137
8Callum IlottUNI-Virtuosi1:45.57829
9Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport1:45.63629
10Guilherme SamaiaCampos Racing1:45.86728
11Louis DeletrazCharouz Racing System1:46.99739
12Mick SchumacherPREMA Racing1:47.23138
13Pedro PiquetCharouz Racing System1:47.24241
14Nobuharu MatsushitaMP Motorsport1:47.57337
15Sean GelaelDAMS1:47.59043
16Sergey SirotkinART Grand Prix1:47.60133
17Robert ShwartzmanPREMA Racing1:48.00338
18Dan TicktumDAMS1:48.03637
19Marcus ArmstrongART Grand Prix1:48.85242
20Yuki TsunodaCarlin1:48.85745
21Jehan DaruvalaCarlin1:48.93845
22Roy NissanyTrident1:49.20735

2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship - pre-season tests, Day 2, afternoon session

DRIVERTEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Jehan DaruvalaCarlin1:41.26023
2Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi1:41.37729
3Pedro PiquetCharouz Racing System1:41.49124
4Mick SchumacherPREMA Racing1:41.53133
5Sergey SirotkinART Grand Prix1:41.60231
6Jack AitkenCampos Racing1:41.70621
7Callum IlottUNI-Virtuosi1:41.75825
8Nobuharu MatsushitaMP Motorsport1:41.78415
9Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport1:41.80720
10Robert ShwartzmanPREMA Racing1:41.97229
11Dan TicktumDAMS1:41.97624
12Sean GelaelDAMS1:42.06920
13Marcus ArmstrongART Grand Prix1:42.09825
14Luca GhiottoHitech Grand Prix1:42.15627
15Roy NissanyTrident1:42.35520
16Yuki TsunodaCarlin1:42.39323
17Nikita MazepinHitech Grand Prix1:42.55723
18Louis DeletrazCharouz Racing System1:42.55920
19Marino SatoTrident1:43.49624
20Guilherme SamaiaCampos Racing1:44.03915
21Artem MarkelovBWT HWA RACELAB1:46.87235
22Giuliano AlesiBWT HWA RACELAB1:46.87348