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Albon tops second day of Abu Dhabi GP2 test, Lorandi leads in GP3

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Alexander Albon continued to impress during his first GP2 test by topping the timesheets on the second day of running in Abu Dhabi.

Albon, 20, finished runner-up to Charles Leclerc in this year’s GP3 Series, losing out at the final round of the year in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

The Thai-British racer enjoyed his first taste of a GP2 car on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, linking up with ART Grand Prix for the test.

Albon shot to the top of the timesheets in the evening session at the Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday, posting a fastest time of 1:49.062 to edge out GP2 veteran Raffaele Marciello and rival Leclerc at the top of the timesheets.

Marciello still holds the fastest time of the collective test so far, recording a lap of 1:48.937 on Wednesday ahead of the final five hours of running on Friday.

In GP3, 18-year-old Alessio Lorandi set the pace on the second day of running in Abu Dhabi, posting a fastest lap of 1:55.734 for Jenzer Motorsport.

American youngster Santino Ferrucci finished an impressive second for Trident, beating the time he set with DAMS on Wednesday by four-tenths of a second, while Steijn Schothorst finished third-fastest.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”