Louis Delétraz successfully completed the on-track preparations for his 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign today, rounding out three days of hard pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Swiss racer, a three-time podium finisher in 2019, is targeting the F2 title this season and has returned to Charouz Racing System for his 2020 campaign.
He got behind the wheel of the Czech squad’s latest challenger for the first time on Sunday morning when the series’ one and only pre-season test got underway.
Louis immediately set the benchmark pace on the opening morning and went on to complete some valuable performance and race runs across the next three days, lapping the 5.41km circuit 166 times and accumulating 898 kilometres of running.
He also completed practice starts and pit stop drills to ensure every part of his competitive skillset has been fine-tuned ahead of the opening F2 round in Bahrain on 20-22 March.
The 22-year-old driver was pleased with the progress he made during the test. He said: “It was great to be back on track, I seriously missed it. We did pretty much everything you can do at a test and I think in the end we can be happy.
“There were a few ups and downs and we still have to work on small points but overall I’m pretty confident going into the season.
“The team has done a great job and we’ve done very high mileage on both cars. Also the relationship with Pedro [Piquet] went very well and he’ll be a very good team-mate. I’m happy and confident that we can do something good in Bahrain.”
One of the big focus areas for Louis and his team during the test was getting to grips with the new 18-inch Pirelli tyres that will be used in F2 for the first time next season. Louis found it an interesting experience.
He explained: “The 18-inch wheels bring a whole new behaviour to the car so it’s a learning process. The car became stronger and harder to drive, with more input needed from the driver’s side and it felt like you could push the car more to the limit because the tyres seemed more consistent.
“It felt fast and like there was a bit more downforce. I would say it’s a good improvement for F2 and we learned some interesting things for the first race.”
Louis will now return to Europe to continue his pre-season preparations at the Charouz Racing System factory close to Prague before travelling back to Bahrain towards the end of the month.