Upon FIA Formula 2’s long awaited return to the race track, it was Nikita Mazepin who ended the session fastest following two red flags and a late sprinkling of rain in the Bahrain desert.
The Russian set his table-topping time just as the rain began to hit with roughly ten minutes to go before the chequered flag fell to set the perfect precedent as he tries to keep himself in the title hunt.
He is chasing down championship leader Mick Schumacher who holds a healthy advantage over second place Callum Ilott and the rest of the grid but he knows it’s far from over with four races still to go.
Schumacher was tenth fastest in practice with Ilott down in fourteenth. Yuki Tsunoda is another of the challengers who was third fastest behind his Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala.
Schumacher’s PREMA teammate Robert Shwartzman was seventh fastest and Christian Lundgaard fifth behind DAMS’ Dan Ticktum.
The two red flags that truncated most of the session saw both Artem Markelov and Marino Sato complete almost exactly the same spin at the final corner where they both failed to keep their car running. Both cars were parked on the exit kerb and had to be retrieved by the marshalls.
Mazepin’s Hitech GP teammate Luca Ghiotto was sixth fastest with Guanyu Zhou eighth and Felipe Drugovich ninth.
|1||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||1:42:660|
|6||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||1:43:079|
|9||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1:43:142|
|15||Guiliano Alesi||MP Motorsport||1:43:835|
|17||Théo Pourchaire||HWA Racelab||1:44:420|
|21||Marino Sato||Trident||NO TIME|
|22||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||NO TIME|