It was Charles Leclerc who topped the time sheets during practice for the FIA Formula 2 Championship. The Prema Powerteam driver set his personal best early on, choosing not to go out in the closing minutes as his rivals failed to usurp his time around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
As the sun blazed down on the Catalunya circuit it wasn’t long before the cars were up to pace, with championship leader Leclerc the first car under the 1min 30sec barrier, dominating the middle third of the session.
Leclerc and fellow graduates to the series will be familiar with the Spanish track and with an FIA F2 race under their belts, it will be a perfect opportunity for the rookies to step up.
But while Leclerc was enjoying his time, teammate Antonio Fuoco was struggling with grip, failing to put in a fully representative time. He’d eventually pull off in the dying minutes with further technical issues.
The field would switch to hard tyres for the majority of the second half of the session, negating further personal bests from the drivers who focused on race pace and tyre wear data.
This left Leclerc on top with a 1min 29.974, while former-GP3 rival Alexander Albon was just 0.042 seconds back, as his closest rival.
After a disaster of a weekend at Bahrain, Sergio Sette Camara would improve with a solid third place, albeit over half a second off the pace of Leclerc, just proving the domination of the top two. MP Motorsport teammate Jordan King would prove the pace of the car by going fourth.
Behind him, Swiss driver Louis Deletraz put in a low-key fifth ahead of Artem Markelov and Nyck DeVries, once again showing up his teammate. Finally, it would be Norman Nato who rounded out the top eight after a session he won’t be entirely pleased with.