Charles Leclerc of PREMA Racing topped the timesheet today on the first day of Formula 2 pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit.

Leclerc replaced Nobuharu Matsushita of ART Grand Prix as the pacesetter. Matsushita had originally set the fastest time at the end of the day, but about an hour after the conclusion of the afternoon session, it was announced that his was one of five times that were deleted for not respecting the red flag.

Matsushita had clocked one minute 41.165 seconds on his very last lap of the day, right as the wet afternoon session was wrapping up for the evening.

But after its exclusion, the fastest lap of Leclerc at 1:41.454, clocked in the morning session, was the day’s best.

Along with Matsushita, the times of Antonio Fuoco, Louis Deletraz, Johnny Cecotto and Sergio Canamasas were also deleted from the afternoon session.

Luca Ghiotto of Russian Time was therefore the quickest of the afternoon. He had a best lap of 1:42.003.

A total of 20 drivers, representing 10 teams, took to BIC’s 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track today for the first of three days of tests. Action resumes Thursday and then again on Friday. Both days are open to the public. All those with tickets to the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix may attend free of charge.

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