Marinescu Ahead In First Practice At Silverstone

Mihai Marinescu - Photo Credit: FIA Formula Two Championship
Marinescu scored his maiden win at Monza towards the end of last season - Photo Credit: FIA Formula Two Championship

Mihai Marinescu got his third season in the FIA Formula Two Championship off to a good start by setting the pace in the first free practice session at Silverstone.

The Romanian moved into P1 early on in the session and remained there throughout, improving to a 1m47.631s by the end of the 35 minutes.

Alex Fontana led the newcomers in second place, the reigning European F3 Open champion falling 0.28s shy of Marinescu's benchmark.

Fellow F3 graduate Markus Pommer had set the pace in pre-season testing at the British circuit last month, but he had a quiet opening session. He did manage to climb up to third position at the end of the session however, less than a tenth slower than Fontana.

Reigning Formula Renault BARC champion Dino Zamparelli got his first F2 race weekend off to a very positive start with the fourth fastest time despite a spin during the session. Fellow Brit Luciano Bacheta was fifth fastest, just ahead of the returning runner-up Christopher Zanella.

Zamparelli's fellow BARC graduates Hector Hurst and Kourosh Khani also had impressive sessions, finishing up seventh and eighth fastest. The fourth and final British driver Daniel McKenzie was ninth, with teenage debutant Matheo Tuscher completing the top ten.

Last minute entrants Kevin Mirocha and Samuele Buttarelli 14th and 17th respectively as they got to grips with the car and the circuit after missing the official pre-season test.

F2 Results: Silverstone – Free practice one:

1. Mihai Marinescu 1:47.631s
2. Alex Fontana, +0.208s
3. Markus Pommer, +0.358s
4. Dino Zamparelli, +0.600s
5. Luciano Bacheta, +0.804s
6. Christopher Zanella, +0.848s
7. Hector Hurst, +0.872s
8. Kourosh Khani, +0.915s
9. Daniel McKenzie, +0.942s
10. Matheo Tuscher, +1.352s