Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan was comfortably quickest in Formula 2 practice at Spa-Francorchamps.
It was raining around the track at the start of the session, and only ART Grand Prix sent its drivers out at first. Victor Martins set a 2m19.455s, and Theo Pourchaire posted a 2m21.929s, then both did another lap and pitted.
PHM Racing by Charouz’s debuting Josh Mason joined them on track for his first ever running in a second-tier single-seater car, and his first laptime was over 10 seconds off the pace.
But he stayed out, and it stopped raining 10 minutes into the 45-minute session. He improved by over four seconds on his next lap, and by another second the lap after that.
After 15 minutes he was joined on track by Trident’s drivers, but there was then a virtual safety car period as Clement Novalak stopped on the Kemmel Straight. His team-mate Roman Stanek and Mason headed to the pits.
Green flags waved again after 21 minutes, and Stanek went back out along with the drivers of ART GP, Rodin Carlin, Campos Racing, DAMS and Prema.
Frederik Vesti and Ollie Bearman went one-two for Prema with their first flying laps, then Martins went over a second faster than them with a 2m18.161s.
Stanek set a 2m18.847s to go second fastest, and Pourchaire briefly improved in third before his lap was deleted.
Ralph Boschung set a 2m19.173s to sit in third, before Campos team-mate Kush Maini beat him, then Doohan set the day’s first 2m17s lap.
Two minutes later DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa rose to third with a 2m18.653s, 0.683 seconds off Doohan’s pace.
At the half-hour mark Vesti returned to first place, but his 2m17.571s lap only kept him on top for a minute as Martins set a 2m17.479s. Stanek and Pourchaire also lapped in the 2m17s to go third and fourth, with Doohan shuffled down to fifth place.
His next lap was a big improvement though, a 2m16.851s putting him 0.628s ahead of Martins.
Most drivers headed into the pits with 10 minutes to go, while Van Amersfoort Racing sent out its cars for the first time and Carlin duo Zane Maloney and Enzo Fittipaldi went fourth and fifth fastest.
Richard Verschoor and Juan Manuel Correa slotted into 14th and 15th with their first proper laptimes, set with less than four minutes to go of practice, but they were then each shuffled down a spot as MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger shot up the order with a 2m17.186s lap that put him in second place.
Most drivers headed back out on a drying track in the final three minutes, and Vesti had gone fastest in sector one before session-ending red flags were waved with just over two minutes to go as Mason had come to a stop at the exit of the Formula 1 pitlane.
Mason had improved his pace in the laps before, but was seven seconds off the pace after setting more laps than anyone, while Novalak’s early issue ruled him out of the rest of practice.
Free practice results
|1||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||2m16.851s||5|
|2||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||2m17.186s||+0.335s||5|
|3||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||2m17.479s||+0.628s||8|
|8||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||2m17.947s||+1.096s||8|
|9||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||2m17.985s||+1.134s||7|
|10||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||2m18.163s||+1.312s||5|
|11||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||2m18.231s||+1.380s||6|
|13||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||2m18.423s||+1.572s||5|
|15||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||2m18.604s||+1.753s||4|
|16||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||2m18.673s||+1.822s||4|
|18||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||2m19.770s||+2.919s||7|
|19||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||2m20.087s||+3.236s||6|
|20||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||2m21.144s||+4.293s||6|
|21||Josh Mason||PHM by Charouz||2m23.897s||+7.046s||12|
|22||Clement Novalak||Trident||no time||1|