Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther capped off a dominant performance in preparation for Season 9 with another testing lap record around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia.
The German bounded to the top of the timesheets in the final half hour of the pre-season test. The 25-year-old putting in a commanding display in his first public outing since joining the Monegasque team, leaving it to the last day to put in the best time of the week with a 1:25.127.
Another driver who has quickly acclimatised with his new surroundings at DS PENSKE was Stoffel Vandoorne, the reigning World Champion looking good to be in the fight to defend his title after this week’s running. He ended the final session a tenth behind the German’s best.
Oliver Rowland had been the form man for Mahindra Racing for the bulk of the session, setting the fastest time at the halfway stage. The British driver’s time was good enough to stick to the end and claim him third.
Putting in an impressive performance this week was Jake Hughes, the NEOM McLaren rookie only finished outside of the top 10 on one occasion this week and picked up the fourth best time in the afternoon.
Next up was Sam Bird who made it a trio of Brits in the top five as the Jaguar TCS Racing driver logged his best lap of the test on the final day. It wasn’t the same fate for Bird’s teammate Mitch Evans, last season’s runner-up brought out a red-flag after his car shut down in the closing stages.
One powertrain to rule them all?
Guenther topped every session but two this week, but there was one shared powertrain that impressed further as the mechanical assembly behind Maserati MSG Racing and DS PENSKE lead the timesheets in all but one this week.
The power behind these teams is looking to set-up an interesting software race in the new year as they target any possible edge over each other.
At the end of the week testing is just that, testing, and we can expect more progress to be made ahead of the first round of the season as the teams pore over the data from over 5,000 laps completed around Valencia to build on their performance.