Formula 2 Leader Nicholas Latifi Opens Monaco Practice Fastest

by Aaron Gillard
Latifi - Monaco - F2

FIA Formula 2 championship leader Nicholas Latifi opens the weekend with the fastest time in practice at Monaco.

The Williams Racing reserve driver produced the best time with a 1:21.887 and was consistent throughout the whole session in his DAMS car. ART Grand Prix driver Nyck de Vries was 0.114 seconds short from the Canadian in second place.

The Dutch driver, who won the Barcelona Sprint race, struggled to get a clean lap together in the early stages of the session, but managed to find the pace in the final half of the session. UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto set the third best time.

Latifi’s team-mate Sérgio Sette Câmara was fourth overall, having missed last year’s race due to an injury. The Brazilian managed to pip ahead of Campos Racing‘s Jack Aitken. Sauber Junior Team‘s Callum Ilott was sixth ahead of Dorian Boccolacci and Louis Delétraz.

Prema‘s Sean Gelael placed the ninth best time ahead of Arden‘s Anthoine Hubert. The Frenchman went off at Sainte Devote twice in the session, but produced good pace to break into the top ten. In his return to F2 filling in for Jordan King at MP Motorsport, Artem Markelov set the 17th best time in his first laps in the Dallara F2 car since the last race of the F2 2018 season.

The session began with the drivers heading out onto the track to complete their reconnaissance laps. Sette Câmara set the early pace in the opening minutes with a 1:34.097 ahead of both Prema cars. The Brazilian improved his time into the 1:27.446 with his second hot lap of the session.

Sette Câmara’s team-mate and championship leader Latifi jumped ahead into first with a 1:24.648, going over two seconds faster than the Brazilian’s time.

Latifi continued to improve his pace by breaking into the 1:23s, placing a 1:23.644 to remain the fastest driver in practice with half an hour left. Carlin‘s Nobuharu Matsushita split the two DAMS drivers with the second best time, until de Vries and Sette Câmara improve their times to take second and third place.

Matsushita stopped on track with a mechanical related issues at the exit of the Grand Hotel Hairpin, causing the Virtual Safety Car and ending his session early with 27 minutes left of practice. The VSC ended once the Carlin was recovered with 25 minutes remaining as the drivers resume their practice runs.

Trident‘s Giuliano Alesi used the run-off at the exit of Sainte Devote after carrying too much speed into Turn 1. The French driver was able to keep his car away from the barriers, returning to the track by spinning his car back round the right direction.

Latifi remained on top of the timing sheets, but Delétraz broke ground and managed to place the second best time ahead of Latifi’s team-mate Sette Câmara. Ghiotto and Boccolacci round off the top five with twenty minutes remaining.

With ten minutes left of practice, the field head back out on track to get their last laps complete before they turn their focus onto qualifying. Some drivers struggled to set a lap in, encountering traffic during their lap around the short Monaco circuit.

de Vries improved his time and jumped ahead of Latifi, but the Canadian quickly found more time and reclaimed the top spot away from the ART driver. Ghiotto managed to place the third best time and surpassing Sette Câmara as Aitken jumped into the top five.

The sole practice session ended with Latifi on top with a 1:21.887, with de Vries in second place only falling short by 0.114 seconds. Ghiotto claimed third ahead of Sette Câmara and Aitken.

With practice complete, qualifying will be the sole focus for the drivers as they prepare for the split session. Two groups consist of Odd and Even numbered cars will go out on track at separate times due to the short nature of the Monaco street circuit.

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
16DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN1:21.887
24ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED1:22.001
38UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA1:22.327
45DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ1:22.470
515Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR1:22.569
611Sauber Junior Team by CharouzCallum IlottGBR1:22.838
714Campos RacingDorian BoccolacciFRA1:22.872
81Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHE1:22.980
910PREMA RacingSean GelaelINO1:23.135
1019BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA1:23.167
1121TridentRalph BoschungCHE1:23.530
1212Sauber Junior Team by CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA1:23.834
139PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER1:23.854
1420TridentGiuliano AlesiITA1:24.199
153ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS1:24.315
167UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI1:24.640
1716MP MotorsportArtem MarkelovRUS1:24.821
182Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN1:25.023
1918BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL1:26.050
2017MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED1:26.784

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