Robert Wickens topped the times in the opening day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing at the Paul Ricard circuit on Tuesday.
The Canadian Carlin driver was quickest both in the morning and in the afternoon sessions, posting a 1m50.843sec to outpace Epsilon's Albert Costa by less than a tenth.
Despite gray and overcast conditions, the track remained dry throughout the day.
"Today's test was really good for us," said Wickens. "We were really strong this morning, and it was a bit of a surprise to be half a second quicker as we weren't really going for a quick lap time as we were concentrating hard on our test program. I didn't feel like I got the most out of the tires this afternoon but it was still good enough to go quickest. The car just felt really good today, but I think there's still room for more improvements tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne completed a strong day for Carlin, the Frenchman posting the third-quickest time ahead of Fortec duo Cesar Ramos and Alexander Rossi. Filip Salaquarda joined the ISR squad to replace Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian on reserve driver duties for Red Bull in Melbourne. Other drivers joining FR3.5 testing were Sten Pentus, who drove an Epsilon, and Dominic Storey, at the wheel of a Mofaz Racing car.
The test continues today.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Robert Wickens Carlin 1m50.843s
2. Albert Costa Epsilon-Euskadi 1m50.892s + 0.049
3. Jean Eric Vergne Carlin 1m51.016s + 0.173
4. Cesar Ramos Fortec Motorsport 1m51.093s + 0.250
5. Alexander Rossi Fortec Motorsport 1m51.108s + 0.265
6. Stephane Richelmi Draco Racing 1m51.371s + 0.528
7. Arthur Pic Tech 1 Racing 1m51.487s + 0.644
8. Filip Salaquarda Isr 1m51.569s + 0.726
9. Sten Pentus Epsilon-Euskadi 1m51.646s + 0.803
10. Sergio Canamasas Bvm Target 1m51.665s + 0.822
11. Daniel Zampieri Bvm Target 1m51.760s + 0.917
12. Daniil Move P1 Motorsport 1m51.766s + 0.923
13. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 Racing 1m51.862s + 1.019
14. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz Racing 1m51.886s + 1.043
15. Andre Negrao Draco Racing 1m51.887s + 1.044
16. Daniel Mckenzie Comtec Racing 1m52.007s + 1.164
17. Nelson Panciatici Kmp Racing 1m52.126s + 1.283
18. Oliver Webb Pons Racing 1m52.262s + 1.419
19. Brendon Hartley Gravity - Charouz 1m52.275s + 1.432
20. Jan Charouz Gravity - Charouz 1m52.416s + 1.573
21. Dominic Storey Mofaz Racing 1m52.605s + 1.762
22. Walter Grubmuller P1 Motorsport 1m52.867s + 2.024
23. Anton Nebylitskiy Kmp Racing 1m53.022s + 2.179
24. Daniel De Jong Comtec Racing 1m53.619s + 2.776
25. Nathanael Berthon Isr 1m53.804s + 2.961