The first appearance of the GP2 Series at the Red Bull Ring in Austria saw Colombian driver Julian Leal top free practice for Carlin. The 24-year-old set a best lap time of 1:15.652s towards the end of the session to beat Italian Raffaele Marciello into second place by 0.116s.
The session began with some light rain in the air, but once that ceased, the track rubbered in and times tumbled. Marciello’s Racing Engineering team-mate Stefano Coletti was third fastest, ahead of Leal’s team-mate Felipe Nasr, who moments before setting his time had a close call with the Hilmer Motorsport of Facu Regalia at turn 8 that the stewards are having a look at.
The race winner of the Spanish Feature race Johnny Cecotto Jr continued his strong recent form by setting the fifth fastest time for Trident Racing, just ahead of Russian Time’s Mitch Evans in sixth. Hilmer Motorsport’s Daniel Abt was seventh ahead of Austrian Rene Binder for Arden International.
ART Grand Prix’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who won the opening round of the season in Bahrain but has not scored a point since, was ninth quickest, just ahead of current championship leader Jolyon Palmer of DAMS who rounded out the top ten. His DAMS team-mate and Monaco feature race winner last time out Stephane Richelmi was only twelfth quickest behind Alexander Rossi in the leading EQ8 Caterham Racing machine.
Qualifying takes place later this afternoon.
Red Bull Ring Free Practice Result
|2||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Racing Engineering||1:15.768|
|3||Stefano Coletti||MON||Racing Engineering||1:15.830|
|5||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Trident Racing||1:16.189|
|6||Mitch Evans||NZL||RT Russian Time||1:16.192|
|7||Daniel Abt||GER||Hilmer Motorsport||1:16.300|
|8||Rene Binder||AUT||Arden International||1:16.426|
|9||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||ART Grand Prix||1:16.463|
|11||Alexander Rossi||USA||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:16.544|
|13||Sergio Canamasas||ESP||Trident Racing||1:16.620|
|14||Rio Haryanto||INO||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:16.620|
|16||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||1:16.865|
|17||Conor Daly||USA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:16.888|
|18||Arthur Pic||FRA||Campos Racing||1:16.935|
|20||Facu Regalia||ARG||Hilmer Motorsport||1:17.169|
|21||Artem Markelov||RUS||RT Russian Time||1:17.171|
|22||Andre Negrao||BRZ||Arden International||1:17.288|
|23||Tio Ellinas||CYP||MP Motorsport||1:17.300|
|24||Takuya Izawa||JAP||ART Grand Prix||1:17.370|
|25||Kimiya Sato||JAP||Campos Racing||1:17.605|
|26||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:17.785|