The 2022 Formula Regional European Championship began at a wet Monza with free practice on Friday morning, and two late signings.
There were 36 drivers out on track during the opening practice session of the season, with R-ace GP adding a fourth car for Lena Buhler (who competed for the team last year and more recently in FRegional Asian Championship) and the new Race Performance Motorsport team running the second of its cars for its team boss and former Formula Ford star Keith Donegan.
FP1 was delayed due to the wet weather in Italy, and when it began it was debuting team Trident that went to the top with Leonardo Fornaroli.
He was almost a second faster than anyone else before yellow flags came out and prevented anyone from improving, but once the track returned to green it was MP Motorsport’s Michael Belov who then went fastest.
His 1m48.987s was also a jump of almost a second over the rest of the field, but Fornaroli’s team-mate Tim Tramnitz was soon able to get within 0.015 seconds of him.
Arden’s Eduardo Barrichello was the next driver to top the timesheet, with he and Fornaroli going faster than Belov, and it was the son of Formula 1 race-winner Rubens Barrichello who sat in first place going into the second half of the hour-long session.
ART Grand Prix’s Gabriele Mini got close to Barrichello’s laptime, then went to the top himself by breaking into the 1m47s. That made him the man to beat until the final five minutes, when Prema came to the fore.
It had kept its drivers in the pits early on, but once Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic were on track they were rapid and quickly put themselves in the top two positions.
Beganovic was initially ahead, but Aron bettered him with a minute to go to end FP1 as fastest by 0.084s. Belov got back up to third, and R-P-M’s Pietro Delli Guanti was a surprise fourth with a late lap.
Free practice results
|3||Michael Belov||MP Motorsport||1m47.194s||+0.468s||20|
|4||Pietro Delli Guanti||R-P-M||1m47.234s||+0.508s||19|
|6||Joshua Dufek||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m47.532s||+0.806s||19|
|9||Kas Haverkort||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m47.649s||+0.923s||20|
|13||Nicolas Baptiste||FA Racing by MP||1m47.818s||+1.092s||19|
|14||Santiago Ramos||KIC Motorsport||1m47.826s||+1.100s||19|
|15||Gabriele Mini||ART Grand Prix||1m47.925s||+1.199s||14|
|16||Hadrien David||R-ace GP||1m47.964s||+1.238s||20|
|17||Victor Bernier||FA Racing by MP||1m48.084s||+1.358s||20|
|18||Piotr Wisnicki||KIC Motorsport||1m48.169s||+1.443s||19|
|20||Matias Zagazeta||G4 Racing||1m48.172s||+1.446s||20|
|21||Dilano van’t Hoff||MP Motorsport||1m48.198s||+1.472s||20|
|22||Esteban Masson||FA Racing by MP||1m48.242s||+1.516s||20|
|23||Francesco Braschi||KIC Motorsport||1m48.267s||+1.541s||15|
|24||Mari Boya||ART Grand Prix||1m48.398s||+1.672s||20|
|25||Laurens van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||1m48.408s||+1.682s||21|
|26||Owen Tangavelou||G4 Racing||1m48.464s||+1.738s||20|
|27||Levente Revesz||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m48.519s||+1.793s||20|
|29||Maceo Capietto||Monolite Racing||1m48.720s||+1.994s||15|
|30||Gabriel Bortoleto||R-ace GP||1m48.816s||+2.090s||20|
|31||Pietro Armanni||Monolite Racing||1m48.820s||+2.094s||17|
|32||Lorenzo Fluxa||R-ace GP||1m48.960s||+2.234s||20|
|33||Axel Gnos||G4 Racing||1m49.026s||+2.300s||20|
|34||Sami Meguetounif||MP Motorsport||1m49.289s||+2.563s||10|
|35||Lena Buhler||R-ace GP||1m49.554s||+2.828s||19|
|36||Cenyu Han||Monolite Racing||1m49.600s||+2.874s||19|