Matsushita beats Leclerc on first test day
29 March 2017 – Nobuharu Matsushita set the pace on the first day of Formula 2's second pre-season test in Bahrain, denying Charles Leclerc with a late effort.
Ferrari-backed Leclerc, who enters F2 as GP3 champion, clocked a 1:41.454 to top Wednesday morning's session, before rainfall arrived.
And while a significant chunk of the afternoon running took place in the wet, it eventually dried up enough for some further slick-tyre running.
After a red flag, brought out when Artem Markelov's Russian Time-run car stopped on track, ART's Matsushita stormed clear with a 1:41.165.
Prema driver Leclerc remained in second, despite not getting his own late run, ahead of MP Motorsport's Jordan King, Russian Time's Luca Ghiotto and Arden's Norman Nato.
Nato was the pace-setter at Formula 2's first test session in Barcelona.
Louis Delétraz was fifth for Racing Engineering, as DAMS pair Oliver Rowland and Nicholas Latifi sandwiched Rapax's Johnny Cecotto Jr. – a veteran under the series' GP2 guise.
Matsushita's team-mate, Alexander Albon, rounded out the top 10.
Campos tester Raoul Hyman, who has taken over from ex-F1 driver Roberto Merhi, brought up the rear of the 20-strong field, his best lap around three seconds off the pace.
Formula 2 testing continues at Sakhir on Thursday