Five F2 stars drive in Mexico City GP FP1

Five F2 stars drive in Mexico City GP FP1

Mexico CityFive F2 stars drive in Mexico City GP FP1

Five FIA Formula 2 drivers took part in Free Practice 1 (FP1) for the 2023 Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix on Friday.

F2 Championship Leader Théo Pourchaire, PREMA duo Frederik Vesti and Ollie Bearman, Invicta Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan, and Hitech GP driver Isack Hadjar all got behind the wheel of an F1 car around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

However, ART’s Pourchaire failed to set a lap time in the Alfa Romeo thanks to a suspected brake-by-wire issue.

The Frenchman, who was replacing nine-time Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas, completed four laps which all ended by returning to the pit lane.

 

For what it’s worth, Ollie Bearman was the quickest of the four who did set a lap time, ending the session 15th in the Haas, where he was replacing Danish driver Kevin Magnussen.

18-year-old Bearman, who’s won four races in F2 as a rookie this season, finished one position ahead of double World Champion Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin.

The British driver completed 30 laps, which was among the most in the session, achieving a best lap time of 1:21.313.

He said after the session: “My goal was to have a clean session and did that.

“I got up to speed quite fast, I had confidence in the car. For my first FP1, I’m happy.”

Isack Hadjar was 16th fastest, with a best time of 1:21.941, completing 25 laps.

The Frenchman said it was “the best day of his life” over the team radio at the end of the session.

Speaking after the session, the 19-year-old said: “My first ever time in an F1 car was incredible, so I’m happy.

“There was so much going on with the procedures and traffic that it was overwhelming at first. It was tough, but I got into a rhythm quite quickly, and my confidence grew.  I can’t wait to be back in the car.”

Two-time Feature Race winner in 2023 Jack Doohan was sitting in for Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly at Alpine and completed 24 laps.

The Aussie was 18th fastest, with a best time of 1:22.109.

Doohan tweeted afterwards, saying the session was “great”, adding: “We got though everything we needed to, ran through the program and executed well which was the goal so we can be happy with that!”

PREMA’s Frederick Vesti got behind the wheel of George Russell’s Mercedes, meaning he shared the track with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff told Sky Sports F1 the Dane was on a ‘test program’ for the team, which ‘didn’t put him in a favourable position for lap time’.

The 22-year-old ran 25 laps, with a best time of 1:22.937.

Vesti, who’s won five races in Formula 2 in 2023 said it was a special weekend for him.

“It’s a dream come true and I’m very grateful to the team for the opportunity.

“It was a good session for us overall, we managed to get some useful information from the long run stints and understand the prototype tyres and degradation at this track.”

Pourchaire said: “I’m grateful to the team for this opportunity, even though we didn’t get much in terms of laps today.”

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