ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins was fastest in Formula 2 practice at Monza.
The session was delayed by 10 minutes after Martins stalled exiting the support paddock and none of the other F2 cars could get past him, and when practice did begin only a few cars headed out to set laps.
MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala was the early pacesetter, a 1m32.869s putting him 0.766 seconds ahead of Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi in second place.
Laptimes improved dramatically after that, and a third of the way through the 45-minute session it was an MP one-two but with Dennis Hauger leading Daruvala by 0.019s after setting a 1m34.611s. Having been third ealier on, Carlin’s Zane Maloney still held that position with a 1m34.708s lap, and Prema’s Ollie Bearman was fourth.
A lap later Bearman went to the top, as more than half of the field improved. Martins and DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc were within 0.1s of Bearman’s 1m33.714s, and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor was fourth fastest with a 1m34.027s.
Martins and Verschoor were among the few able to find even more pace in the laps after, with Martins going top by setting a 1m33.462s. Verschoor was briefly second, but had his 1m33.503s effort deleted and it meant PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roy Nissany became Martins’ closest rival with a 1m33.714s.
Halfway through the session another improvement came in from Martins. A 1m33.165s put him 0.303s ahead of team-mate Theo Pourchaire, with Verschoor not matching his previous effort but keeping it between the white lines to go third fastest, half a second off Martins.
DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa reduced Martins’ advantage to 0.279s with 10 minutes to go of practice, and Martins responded a few minutes later by setting a new fastest first sector but not improving his laptime.
Maloney improved in fourth with six-and-a-half minutes left on the clock, with the top 16 now all within a second of Martins, and Verschoor returned to third a minute later by going just 0.018s slower than Iwasa.
The session was stopped with three minutes to go after Hauger, who was down in 20th and just behind his team-mate, spun and stalled at Parabolica after putting a wheel in the gravel.
Free practice results
|1||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m33.165s||17|
|3||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m33.462s||+0.297||17|
|4||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1m33.468s||+0.303||16|
|6||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||1m33.699s||+0.534||16|
|7||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m33.713s||+0.548||17|
|9||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m33.721s||+0.556||16|
|10||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1m33.742s||+0.577||17|
|12||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m33.796s||+0.631||17|
|13||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m33.924s||+0.759||16|
|19||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1m34.305s||+1.140||16|
|20||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1m34.444s||+1.279||15|
|22||Josh Mason||PHM by Charouz||1m35.185s||+2.020||17|