Home Formula 2 Felipe Drugovich tops F2 season-opening practice in Bahrain

Felipe Drugovich tops F2 season-opening practice in Bahrain

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Virtuosi Racing’s Felipe Drugovich became the first driver to top a Formula 2 race weekend session in 2021 after coming out on top in free practice in Bahrain.

F2’s practice was the first single-seater action ahead of the Bahrain GP this weekend – the curtain-raiser for both Formula 1 and F2.

After putting in installation laps at the start of the 45-minute session, many of the drivers sat in the pits for the first half of the session. Drivers are already very familiar with the Sakhir circuit, with all 22 having taken part in pre-season testing and having raced there in November.

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HWA Racelab’s Matteo Nannini was the first driver to put in a laptime, which was fairly unrepresentative. By the conclusion, the driver who will also be racing in FIA Formula 3 had put in more laps than anybody else – with 19.

It was until the halfway point of the session where the majority of the drivers managed to place in a representative time.

Carlin driver Dan Ticktum was the first to put in a decent time, but he was surpassed by Drugovich – who won in Bahrain in November – to the top of the timesheets with a 1m45.340s.

Hitech GP’s Liam Lawson was the highest-placed rookie, finishing third-fastest. Behind Lawson, the times were very tight. DAMS’ Marcus Armstrong was fourth, while pre-season title favourite Robert Shwartzman was fifth driving for Prema.

MP Motorsport debutant Lirim Zendeli was sixth-fastest, making it six different teams in the top six. Hitech’s Juri Vips was seventh, ahead of Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, Trident’s single-round signing Bent Viscaal and reigning FIA F3 champion Oscar Piastri.

While several drivers had lockups, especially into the difficult braking zones of Turn 1 and Turn 10, the session ran without any notable incident.

The top 15 were separated by a second, with the top 20 by 1.5s. Nannini and HWA team-mate Alessio Deledda were at the bottom of the timesheets.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi Racing 1m45.340s 16
2 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1m45.481s +0.141s 14
3 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 1m45.628s +0.288s 15
4 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1m45.651s +0.311s 16
5 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m45.666s +0.326s 13
6 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1m45.734s +0.394s 16
7 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m45.762s +0.422s 14
8 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m45.763s +0.423s 15
9 Bent Viscaal Trident 1m45.838s +0.498s 15
10 Oscar Piastri Prema 1m46.077s +0.737s 14
11 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m46.149s +0.809s 15
12 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing 1m46.195s +0.855s 14
13 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m46.207s +0.867s 16
14 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m46.225s +0.885s 16
15 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1m46.237s +0.897s 16
16 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1m46.387s +1.047s 14
17 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1m46.585s +1.245s 15
18 Gianluca Petecof Campos Racing 1m46.597s +1.257s 18
19 Marino Sato Trident 1m46.718s +1.378s 15
20 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m46.788s +1.448s 17
21 Matteo Nannini HWA Racelab 1m47.400s +2.060s 19
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1m48.888s +3.548s 18