GP2: Pierre Gasly sweeps three days of testing in Abu Dhabi

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Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up Pierre Gasly has finished off a superb weekend of GP2 testing in Abu Dhabi that saw him lead all three days of the session.

Gasly topped out at 1 minute, 48.231 seconds to lead the way on Saturday for DAMS, which recently won the GP2 title with driver Jolyon Palmer.

Gasly competed in the final three events of the 2014 GP2 season for the Status team (formerly Caterham), and his excellent showing in the desert this weekend could help him in attaining a full-time GP2 ride. He had been one of those considered for the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 seat that ultimately went to FR3.5 champ Carlos Sainz Jr.

This morning, Jordan King was second behind Gasly, while Esteban Ocon in a second DAMS car went P2 in the afternoon run.

Overall, Arthur Pic (brother of F1 reserve Charles) was third-fastest with a 1 minute, 49.091 second lap for Campos in the afternoon. King followed in fourth with his afternoon lap (1 minute, 49.129 seconds), followed by Sergey Sirotkin in fifth (afternoon; 1 minute, 49.200 seconds).

Raffaele Marciello, who recently tested an F1 machine for Ferrari, went back to Racing Engineering for the final day of testing after working with Status on Friday. The Italian went fifth and ninth in the morning and afternoon, respectively.

GP3 champ Alex Lynn also was one of multiple drivers that swapped teams after getting his first taste of GP2 with Carlin on Friday. Today, Lynn was with ART Grand Prix and went eighth and 10th, although he did cause the final red flag of 2014 after being forced to stop at Turn 19.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.