Nikita Mazepin’s maiden Formula 2 campaign didn’t go quite as he envisaged it would have done. The Russian cut a frustrated figure for much of the season, eventually finishing 18th in the Drivers’ standings, with 11 points.

Swapping ART Grand Prix for Carlin at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, with the season concluded, the 20-year-old seemed refreshed and free of pressure. With the disappointment of 2019 behind him, the 20-year-old produced a truer display of his potential.

As much as anything, it was a confidence booster for the Russian, who ended the final day in first place, running faster than second placed Callum Ilott and Louis Delétraz in P3.

“Today has shown that maybe I am finding a little bit of my roots back,” he explained. “It was a very happy day for me, because it has been a difficult year.”

“This day will help me to spend a very productive and busy winter to prepare for next season, where I am hoping to do better.”

“I am very happy with how the final day has gone. My time was done in the morning session, because in the afternoon session, there was a little bit of rain coming, which affected our performance and the grip that we had. This meant that we couldn’t improve our laptimes, in fact, I didn't get any laps done in the afternoon on new tyres.”

“Today has shown that maybe I am finding a little bit of my roots back”

“It’s been very good though. It was a new environment for me, I’d spent the year with ART and this time I was driving with Carlin, and there is always going to be a difference, from a French team to an English team, it will always feel a little bit different.

“I am happy with the learning and the steps forward I have made - I enjoyed driving and the three days felt nice.”