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Boschung tops last F2 test session as teams focus on race runs

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung was fastest in Formula 2’s final pre-season test session at Bahrain, as teams completed the race run programmes they had spent the day focusing on.

In the opposite of the morning session, it was DAMS’ drivers that were first on track, although it was MP Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli who set the first flying lap of the afternoon with a 1m48.971s.

He didn’t get near that laptime again for a long time as he switched tyres for long runs, but after 43 minutes of the three-hour session Boschung was able to better Zendeli with a 1m47.100s effort that stood as the session’s best for a long time.

DAMS’ Roy Nissany and Charouz Racing System’s Guilherme Samaia went second and third fastest a few minutes later, with the top three remaining unchanged until ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire went second quickest in the middle of the session.

Liam Lawson, who waited well over an hour before setting a flying lap and was last on the timesheet for another 40 minutes after that, then went on a short spell of fast laps and leapt up the order to second place with a 1m47.409s.

Prema’s Robert Shwartzman did the same 10 minutes later before embarking on a long run, and he was just 0.046 seconds slower than Boschung with his best lap and faster than Hitech GP’s Lawson.

Going into the final half-hour of testing, almost every driver was embarking on a full race simulation (19 to 21 laps) or multiple long runs (10 to 13 laps), with a few running two fast laps at the start of their stints.

Shwartzman’s team-mate Oscar Piastri jumped from 21st to third with his effort, and Zendeli then snatched third a minute later by finally beating his very first lap of the session.

Campos embarked on its final runs with 10 minutes to go, and Boschung lopped over two seconds off his early benchmark to solidify his position on the top spot, while team-mate Gianluca Petecof made a quick dash out of the pits and rose up to second with a lap 0.632s slower.

In the final minute, Nissany then became the only other driver to lap sub-1m47s with a lap good enough for third place.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m44.905s 59
2 Gianluca Petecof Campos Racing 1m45.537s +0.632s 55
3 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m46.104s +1.199s 60
4 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m47.146s +2.241s 53
5 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1m47.305s +2.400s 60
6 Oscar Piastri Prema 1m47.326s +2.421s 53
7 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 1m47.409s +2.504s 39
8 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m47.426s +2.521s 42
9 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1m47.598s +2.693s 57
10 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1m47.698s +2.793s 43
11 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1m47.891s +2.986s 61
12 Matteo Nannini HWA Racelab 1m47.893s +2.988s 39
13 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1m47.965s +3.060s 64
14 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m48.128s +3.223s 61
15 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m48.332s +3.427s 39
16 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing 1m48.446s +3.541s 50
17 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1m48.456s +3.551s 36
18 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m48.487s +3.582s 41
19 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi Racing 1m48.613s +3.708s 43
20 Bent Viscaal Trident 1m48.630s +3.725s 41
21 Marino Sato Trident 1m48.926s +4.021s 31
22 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1m50.048s +5.143s 33