Carlin‘s Louis Delétraz ended the FIA Formula 2 practice session at the Red Bull Ring fastest ahead of championship leader Nyck de Vries and Luca Ghiotto, with the top three separated by 0.087 seconds.
The Swiss driver set a time of 1:14.782 to go fastest overall in the sole practice session for the series. Delétraz was ahead of ART Grand Prix‘s de Vries, who was only short by 0.058 seconds. Ghiotto was third with the top three drivers separated by just 0.087 seconds around the ten-corner Austrian circuit. All three drivers displayed consistent pace throughout, but showed signs of heavy tyre degradation with cuts coming on the Pirelli tyres after long runs.
The session began with drivers heading out onto the track to complete their installation laps. Mick Schumacher for Prema set an initial lap time of a 1:31.031, before Nicholas Latifi surpassed him as the drivers begin to set their first hot laps.
The times begin to tumble as the drivers lap times started to drop below one minute, twenty seconds, with Sean Gelael, Callum Ilott and Schumacher the first to break the barrier. Gelael and de Vries set the exact same time with 30 minutes of the session left, with the Indonesian driver recording the time first.
Carlin’s Louis Deletraz quickly made his way to the top by setting a time 1:14.782 ahead of de Vries, and Sérgio Sette Câmara. Ilott and UNI-Virtusoi Racing‘s Guanyu Zhou rounded off the top five by the halfway stage.
Luca Ghiotto jumped to third place, falling short by 0.058 seconds to Deletraz, who remained at the top ahead of championship leader de Vries with fifteen minutes remaining. Latifi improved to go fourth overall ahead of Jack Aitken in fifth. The top fifteen cars by the final minutes of the session were within a second to one another, less than a tenth between the top three of Deletraz, de Vries and Ghiotto.
In the final minutes of the session, the drivers started their race simulations as the Carlin of Deletraz remained on top of the standings until the chequered flag. Deletraz ended the session fastest ahead of de Vries by 0.058 seconds, with Ghiotto only 0.087 seconds away from the Swiss driver. Latifi in the DAMS ended the session in fourth, with Aitken rounding off the top five.
The three drivers entering F2 this weekend: Arjun Maini, Patricio O’Ward and Ryan Tveter recorded plenty of laps. Red Bull-backed IndyCar driver O’Ward showed impressive signs in his first drive at the Red Bull Ring, F2 and in Europe by finishing less than three-tenths of a second behind MP Motorsport team-mate Jordan King in eighteenth place. Maini in the Campos ended the session in fifteenth whilst Tveter for Trident was nineteenth ahead of Tatiana Calderón.
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