Home Featured Campos’s Maini fastest between red flag periods in final F2 test session

Campos’s Maini fastest between red flag periods in final F2 test session

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Formula 2 post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit ended with Campos Racing’s Kush Maini topping the final session.

Trident’s Roman Stanek was first to set a lap, and it only took 10 minutes for his team-mate Clement Novalak to set an almost unmatchable 1m37.366s laptime that put him 2.596 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi in second place.

Novalak had only improved by 0.074 seconds by the half-hour point, but his opposition had not got much closer either with Carlin’s Zane Maloney and then ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins setting 1m39.6s laps that still still left them 2.34s behind.

Only 17 drivers had been on track, and after 40 minutes only five drivers had set sub-1m40s laps as the final session focus was on long runs.

Prema’s Ollie Bearman moved into second place after 50 minutes, going a tenth faster than Martins, with DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa then demoting him to third with a 1m39.470s lap a few minutes later.

Hitech GP’s Jak Crawford found another two tenths in pace and became the first driver to get within two seconds of Novalak, and team-mate Isack Hadjar set two successive improvements before the end of the first hour to become only the second driver to lap sub-1m39s.

There was no further change near the top of the leaderboard until the second half of the three-hour session, as Campos’s Ralph Boschung and then Fittipaldi went fifth fastest at the halfway mark.

At this point Maini was down in 17th place, and had been warned for not respecting where practice starts are supposed to be completed.

Fittipaldi moved up to second place, within 1.579s of Novalak, before the first red flag stoppage where Maloney was left on track.

Track action resumed after a 13-minute break, with Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan and Boschung quick to improve once they were able to go on track again.

With 51 minutes to go, ART grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire bettered Fittipaldi by four tenths to move into second place, and Arthur Leclerc then moved ahead of Fittipaldi and Pourchaire with successive personal bests.

Iwasa made it two DAMS drivers in the top three with 40 minutes remaining, and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Rafael Villagomez went straight into fourth place with his first flying lap of the session to count.

There was an even bigger surprise 15 minutes later when Maini went from 20th to first place with a 1m36.875s lap, putting him 0.417s ahead of Novalak.

After that was another red flag stoppage caused by Charouz Racing System’s Roy Nissany stopping on the back straight, and the second restart occurred with five minutes left on the clock.

Only a handful of drivers headed back out, with Villagomez among those and moving into second place seconds before the chequered flag came out. Maloney also improved, going sixth fastest.

Afternoon session results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m36.875s 55
2 Rafael Villagomez VAR 1m37.229s +0.354s 43
3 Clement Novalak Trident 1m37.292s +0.417s 41
4 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m37.681s +0.806s 45
5 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1n37.757s +0.882s 68
6 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m37.790s +0.915s 61
7 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m37.844s +0.969s 67
8 Victor Martins ART GP 1m38.242s +1.367s 63
9 Roy Nissany Charouz Racing System 1m38.346s +1.471s 66
10 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 1m38.447s +1.572s 58
11 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m38.871s +1.996s 58
12 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m38.971s +2.096s 64
13 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m39.000s +2.125s 50
14 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m39.123s +2.248s 64
15 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m39.174s +2.299s 64
16 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m39.251s +2.376s 62
17 Roman Stanek Trident 1m39.365s +2.490s 53
18 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m39.488s +2.613s 62
19 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m39.539s +2.664s 53
20 Juan Manuel Correa VAR 1m40.183s +3.308s 67
21 Amaury Cordeel VAR 1m40.363s +3.488s 29
22 Brad Benavides Charouz Racing System no time 0