|Just three days after the completion of the 2016 GP2 Series all the teams remained in Abu Dhabi to take part in the annual post-season testing. Held over three days, each day comprised of two 2.5 hour sessions, the first to be held in the morning and the second in the evening under the circuit’s floodlights. For all three days Racing Engineering would be running 19 year-old Swiss driver Louis Delétraz who made his GP2 debut in the final race weekend of the 2016 season and 21 year old Swede Gustav Malja who had competed in the entire 2016 GP2 season with a best finish of second at Spa.
Wednesday, the first day of testing, saw another hot day at the Yas Marina circuit and in the morning session Gustav and Louis finished in 10th and 11th positions with laps of 1:50.763 and 1:50.922 respectively, despite four red flag periods, as both men began to work with the Racing Engineering team. In the evening session, held under floodlights as the sun set, both men improved on their earlier laps with Louis setting a time of 1:49.854 for 12th with Gustav in 15th on 1:49.947. Both sessions saw all the teams using Pirelli’s medium compound tyres.
The Thursday sessions were hot once more and at the end of the two-and-a-half-hour morning session Louis set a time of 1:50.960 for 8th fastest and Gustav was just a little slower in 11th with a lap of 1:51.078. The evening session saw cooler temperatures and Louis set his fastest time so far with a lap of 1:49.414 for 6th while Gustav also improved on his best to lie 11th on 1:49.606.
It was a little cooler for the final day of testing, Friday, and both Louis and Gustav were amongst the fastest runners, Louis set the 2nd fastest time of the session completing thirty-two laps with a fastest time of 1:50.403 and Gustav was 4th just over a tenth of a second away from his teammate completing thirty-three laps with a best of 1:50.547. The last session of the three days was once more held under floodlights and Gustav and Louis were again very close with laps of 1:49.775 and 1:49.941 to finish 13th and 14th respectively.The three days of testing were very constructive for both the Racing Engineering and the two drivers and has seen the continuation of the extensive test program that has seen the Spanish team take four race wins this year and finish second in the Team Championship.