Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung led the way in the first of two Thursday afternoon test sessions for Formula 2 at Bahrain.
The first session of the day was shortened to one hour-and-45 minutes, compared to two-and-a-half hours on previous days, and despite the warm temperatures of the early afternoon there was still a lot of track action.
Boschung was the driver to beat pretty much throughout, laying down a 1m45.063s lap just eight minutes into the session to put him 4.9 seconds clear of Trident’s Clement Novalak in second place.
MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger trimmed that gap down to 4.5s after 11 minutes, then Novalak improved to get within 2.875s of Boschung after a quarter of an hour had passed while Hauger improved in third place.
Boschung lowered the pace by 0.036s after 21 minutes, and soon after DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa and Hauger became the third and fourth drivers to lap sub-1m49s.
The gap between the top two still stood at 2.879s after half an hour, but Novalak improved twice and with a 1m47.031s lap went 2.004s slower than Boschung. PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roy Nissany slotted into third behind him, two tenths slower.
ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire went fourth fastest and broke into the 1m47s at the 40-minute mark, with his team-mate Victor Martins going a tenth slower in fifth place before then setting a 1m47.053s to demote Nissany from third.
Only eight drivers had lapped sub-1m48s as the second half of the session begun, with the gap that covered Boschung and Novalak being larger than the one that covered second place down to 15th.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Juan Manuel Correa went ninth fastest in the final half-hour, then team-mate Richard Verschoor became the 10th driver to lap in the 1m47s when he moved into sixth place with 17 minutes to go at the same time as Nissany improved by a slim 0.008s in fourth.
Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar down in 21st place was the only driver to improve their pace thereon, meaning Boschung ended the session two seconds clear of the field.
Afternoon session results
|1||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m45.027s||28|
|3||Victor Martins||ART GP||1m47.054s||+2.027s||39|
|4||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz||1m47.223s||+2.196s||46|
|7||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||1m47.426s||+2.399s||40|
|8||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m47.512s||+2.485s||44|
|10||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||1m47.912s||+2.885s||30|
|13||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz||1m48.239s||+3.212s||31|
|15||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1m48.747s||+3.720s||45|
|17||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1m48.988s||+3.961s||42|
|19||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1m49.245s||+4.218s||36|
|21||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m49.557s||+4.530s||23|