UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto pips championship leader Nicholas Latifi in Barcelona practice for the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
The Italian, who took the Sprint race win at the season opener in Bahrain, claimed the top spot with a 1:29.462. Second place Latifi was 0.404 second short from the Virtuosi driver. Prema Racing‘s Sean Gelael started his weekend strongly with the third best time of the session, becoming the last driver to break into 1:29s. Ghiotto’s team-mate and Chinese rookie driver Guanyu Zhou ended in fourth place, with DAMS‘ Sérgio Sette Câmara rounding off the top five.
Baku Feature race winner Jack Aitken placed himself sixth fastest ahead of Carlin‘s Nobuharu Matsushita and Mick Schumacher. ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries suffered numerous car issues over the forty-five minute session, but managed to set the ninth best time, pipping Arden‘s Anthoine Hubert who concludes the top ten.
Practice began with a chain of cars heading onto the 2.8 mile circuit to complete their installation laps. The two Prema drivers of Gelael and Schumacher set the first initial times in the opening minutes. Sette Câmara and Louis Delétraz jumped to the top of the time sheets ahead of both Premas, only for both Schumacher and Gelael managed to find time in their second runs and jumped back on top.
ART driver Nikita Mazepin was called upon the FIA weighbridge whilst in the pit lane, but the Russian driver missed the entrance and stopped in the pit lane. Delétraz in the Carlin had to take avoiding action to avoid making contact with the Russian driver. The stewards are to investigate the incident after the session.
With over ten minutes gone, Juan Manuel Correa in the Sauber lost control of his car at the final corner of the circuit, beaching his car in the gravel trap. The American’s session ended on the spot as the red flag was brought out to clear away the Sauber.
The session resumed with less than thirty minutes remaining and the ARTs of de Vries and Mazepin were the first cars to return to the track. Ghiotto pushed towards first place by breaking into the 1:29s for the first time in the session, minutes after the restart. Virtuosi team-mate Zhou set his first lap in the session and jumped to third place, with Latifi splitting the two team-mates in second.
Ralph Boschung in the Trident suffered a hair-raising moment when he lost the rear of his car at the exit of Turn 9, but the Swiss was able to keep his car under control and in the right direction, escaping from a possible accident.
With ten minutes of the session remaining, Ghiotto remained on top ahead of Latifi, with Gelael placing himself in third place. Zhou and Sette Camara round up the top five in the final stages of practice.
Having suffered numerous issues with his car, de Vries set his first proper lap time of the session and went eleventh overall with less than five minutes of practice left. The Dutch driver found more time, breaking into the top ten with ninth place, only nine tenths short from Ghiotto’s fastest time.
As practice concluded, the Virtuosi of Ghiotto ended the session on top ahead of title rival Latifi, with the Prema of Gelael in third place. Zhou and Sette Câmara ended the session in fourth and fifth respectfully as the teams prepare for the late afternoon qualifying session.
|1||8||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||1:29.462|
|3||10||PREMA Racing||Sean Gelael||INO||1:29.955|
|4||7||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Guanyu Zhou||CHI||1:30.008|
|5||5||DAMS||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||1:30.073|
|6||15||Campos Racing||Jack Aitken||GBR||1:30.118|
|7||2||Carlin Motorsport||Nobuharu Matsushita||JPN||1:30.228|
|8||9||PREMA Racing||Mick Schumacher||GER||1:30.361|
|9||4||ART Grand Prix||Nyck de Vries||NED||1:30.371|
|10||19||BWT Arden||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||1:30.402|
|12||11||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Callum Ilott||GBR||1:30.682|
|13||16||MP Motorsport||Jordan King||GBR||1:30.719|
|14||3||ART Grand Prix||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||1:30.742|
|15||14||Campos Racing||Dorian Boccolacci||FRA||1:30.935|
|16||1||Carlin Motorsport||Louis Deletraz||CHE||1:31.060|
|18||18||BWT Arden||Tatiana Calderon||COL||1:32.362|
|19||17||MP Motorsport||Mahaveer Raghunathan||NED||1:33.402|
|20||12||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||1:45.830|