Abbi Pulling was the driver to beat on Day 1 of in-season testing at the Circuit Zandvoort. Saving her best till last, the Alpine driver posted a 1:46.598 as she took the final chequered flag of the day.

The Briton headed the field for most of the morning’s running, but it was Tommy Hilfiger’s Nerea Martí who took the honours in the first session with a 1:47.496, edging 0.057s in front of Haas’ Chloe Chambers.

With the rain hampering the afternoon’s run plans, it was another rush of late improvements that saw Pulling come out on top, two tenths ahead of PREMA Racing teammate’s Doriane Pin and Maya Weug.


Exploring the conditions around a drizzly and gusty Zandvoort, Pulling was the first to get a representative time on the board with a 1:54.484. The Alpine driver continued to pick up the pace, lowering the time to beat down to a 1:48.170, going 2.9 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Weug.

Running halted inside the opening hour after Aurelia Nobels found the gravel trap at Turn 13, with Chambers ambers bringing out a second consecutive Red Flag at the same¬ corner when the session resumed.

As the showers eased off, focus shifted towards getting some mileage down as Lia Block slotted into second, joining Pulling inside the 1:40s. With just over an hour to go, a third Red Flag appearance was called after Pin spun at Turn 3, but fortunately the Mercedes driver was able to get going once more.

The session was restarted briefly, until oil on track necessitated another Red Flag. Once Green Flag conditions resumed, Jessica Edgar took advantage of the remaining 20 minutes, bettering Pulling’s effort by 0.117s.

Chambers then set a 1:47.553 to break half a tenth clear of the pack. However, the Haas driver wouldn’t stay top for long, as Martí edged ahead by just 0.057s to conclude the morning. Edgar rounded out the session in third, half a second away from the Spaniard’s best effort.

Pulling was next up in fourth, whilst Kick Sauber driver Carrie Schreiner ensured all three Campos Racing cars finished inside the top five ahead of Nobels for PUMA. Lola Lovinfosse secured the seventh-fastest time ahead of Block, Emely De Heus and Hamda Al Qubaisi, who rounded out the top 10 for Red Bull Racing.

Martí headed a Campos Racing 1-2 in the opening session in the Netherlands
Martí headed a Campos Racing 1-2 in the opening session in the Netherlands


Weug set the initial benchmark at 1:54.891, shortly before an early stoppage within the opening quarter of an hour after Block found the barrier out of Turn 3. Straight back on it once the ART Grand Prix car had been clear, times quickly tumbled as Edgar clocked into the 1:49s.

Her and Weug traded turns at the top of the timing sheets. A 1:48.515 nudged Edgar back in front, as Chambers moved up to within four-tenths of the #17 Rodin Motorsport car in second.

De Heus brought out the afternoon’s second Red Flag, catching the kerb and spinning at Turn 13. There was no rush to head back out, as a heavy downpour prompted the field’s lengthy stay in the pits.

Conditions eased off inside the final hour, kickstarting another batch of runs. Shaving a tenth off Edgar’s earlier effort, Pulling took control of the timesheets on a 1:48.412. Edgar took the opportunity to jump back ahead of her fellow Briton before another brief Red Flag interruption after Bianca Bustamante visited the gravel at Turn 7.

Pulling and Pin exchanged personal bests, but it was ultimately the Drivers’ Standings leader who came out top at the chequered flag by two tenths. Weug completed the top three ahead of Edgar and Bustamante. Aston Martin driver Tina Hausmann and Martí secured the sixth and seventh-fastest time, whilst 0.081s covered Lovinfosse, Chambers and Nobels at the tail end of the top 10.

The field will have a further six hours of run time around the Dutch circuit when the second and final day of testing gets underway tomorrow at 9:00 local time (GMT+2).