Home Featured Maini tops first morning of F2’s in-season Barcelona test

Maini tops first morning of F2’s in-season Barcelona test

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Campos Racing’s Kush Maini topped the morning session of the first day of Formula 2’s in-season test at Barcelona as drivers got a first taste of the track’s new layout.

Barcelona has gone back to the original design of its third sector, with the final chicane now removed and replaced by a fast right-hander ahead of the last corner that leads to the main straight.

Such modification has allowed drivers to lap considerably faster than in the first in-season test session of 2022, with this morning’s benchmark being almost five seconds faster than the equivalent set in testing a year ago.

Prema and Campos were the only teams to run consecutive laps in the early stages of the session despite all of the cars had heading out for an installation lap as soon as the three-hour session began.

Jack Doohan went to the top of the charts with a 1m26.031s lap as the first hour of running was completed, bettering the previous fastest lap held by Campos’ Ralph Boschung to the tune of 0.246s.

Virtuosi Racing ace Doohan then improved then his laptime by another three tenths of a second to stay on top of the timesheet for the following hour-and-a-half. Fellow Alpine junior Victor Martins and his ART Grand Prix team-mate Theo Pourchaire placed themselves second and third in the order, within half a second of Doohan as more drivers headed out for mileage on the updated layout they will race on at the start of June.

Red flags were waved with just over 20 minutes remaining in the session as MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger found the gravel trap in the first sector, just when he had fitted a new set of supersoft tyres.

The track went green again with 15 minutes left on the clock. Hauger’s team-mate Daruvala set a new benchmark of 1m24.955s on the soft compound, followed by Boschung 0.093s behind on the same tyre.

Moments later, Maini went fastest, posting a 1m24.943s to squeak ahead by 0.012s.

Trident’s Roman Stanek and Clement Novalak were the drivers who completed the most laps, a total of 43 and 42 respectively, while Frederik Vesti and Ollie Bearman were among the very first to set laps but not at a representative pace and then never showed their true pace on the timesheet.

Morning session results

Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m24.943s   35
2 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m24.955s +0.012s 26
3 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m25.048s +0.105s 33
4 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 1m25.723s +0.780s 34
5 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m26.138s +1.195s 20
6 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m26.169s +1.226s 19
7 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m26.235s +1.292s 30
8 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m26.270s +1.327s 28
9 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 1m26.293s +1.350s 28
10 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 1m26.352s +1.409s 31
11 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m26.378s +1.435s 20
12 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m26.396s +1.453s 33
13 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m26.438s +1.495s 24
14 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m26.541s +1.598s 25
15 Clement Novalak Trident 1m26.606s +1.663s 42
16 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m26.620s +1.677s 35
17 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m26.741s +1.798s 26
18 Roman Stanek Trident 1m26.762s +1.819s 43
19 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing 1m27.267s +2.324s 32
20 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz 1m27.363s +2.420s 31
21 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m47.682s +22.739s 28
22 Ollie Bearman Prema 2m06.909s +41.966s 31