F2.SeanGP.com – Lando Norris opened the first day of FIA Formula 2 testing at Le Castellet, France with the fastest time of the morning session, the Carlin driver clocking in a 1:56.136 to beat MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung to the top of the timesheets.
A damp, overcast Circuit Paul Ricard greeted the teams as they sought to clock in their customary installation laps at the start of the day. Oliver Rowland was the first driver to hit the track on wet weather tyres for the DAMS team, narrowly beating Boschung out of the garage.
The first hour was punctuated with a few brief red flags following early spins, with Trident’s Santino Ferrucci and Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara prompting stoppages as they got to grips with the wet track, while Louis Delétraz of Charouz Racing System came to a halt at the exit of the pitlane. At the end of the first hour, new Trident recruit Arjun Maini led proceedings ahead of Ferrucci.
Norris was first to break the two minute boundary at the midway point of the session, with the track slowly drying out. Soon, a number of cars were dipping into the 1m59s as they became accustomed to the conditions, although the circuit was not dry enough throughout the session for anyone to attempt a lap on slick tyres.
A red flag in the final half-hour of the session was called for Alexander Albon (DAMS) who stopped at turn 2 due to mechanical gremlins, with running getting back underway with ten minutes remaining. Although Boschung was quick on the draw at the restart to eat into Norris’ advantage, edging to within three tenths of the leader, the British driver was able to put first position well out of reach by going 0.6s quicker than his best time.
Norris was the only driver to break into the 1m56s, as his teammate Sette Camara slotted in behind Boschung for third. Albon was fourth quickest, ahead of Maini – who set a session high of 36 laps – and Arden’s Maximilian Günther. Roberto Merhi (MP Motorsport) was seventh ahead of Delétraz, while Antonio Fuoco (Charouz) and Ferrucci completed the top ten. A total 367 laps were completed in the morning’s running, for a total of 2144 km overall.
|2||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1:57.037||27|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1:57.289||22|
|6||Maximilian Günther||BWT Arden||1:57.742||25|
|7||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1:58.358||20|
|8||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||1:58.619||19|
|9||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1:58.780||18|
|11||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||1:59.759||17|
|12||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||2:00.067||20|
|13||Nyck De Vries||PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing||2:00.088||11|
|14||Sean Gelael||PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing||2:00.095||23|
|15||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||2:03.229||8|
|16||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||2:03.983||15|
|17||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||2:04.282||8|
|18||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||2:10.443||13|
|20||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||—||—|