Hauger Quickest in Australia Practice Ahead of Hadjar

Hauger Quickest in Australia Practice Ahead of Hadjar

HAUGERPRR

Dennis Hauger topped Practice in Formula 2 at Albert Park in a session that saw two red flags.

Campos driver Isack Hadjar set the second-fastest time, just 0.001 slower than the Norwegian, and Mercedes junior Kimi Antonelli finished third.

As the sole Practice session began in Australia, the 22-car field had a quiet opening of five minutes as the drivers became accustomed to the dusty 3.281-mile circuit.

Amaury Cordeel locked-up at Turn 1 and got stuck in the gravel, causing a red flag as his Hitech team mate Paul Aron sat top the timesheets, 10 minutes into the session.

The session resumed with just over half an hour remaining, and a flurry of cars joined the circuit to make up for lost track time.

Multiple drivers set the benchmark as Victor Martins held the quickest time ahead of his ART teammate Zak O’Sullivan before FIA F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto usurped the Frenchman.

Ritomo Miyata ran wide at Turn 10 but re-joined the track after a trip through the gravel for Rodin Carlin on his first visit to Melbourne.

The championship leader, Zane Maloney, slotted into second place with a 1:31.367, 3 tenths slower than Bortoleto.

The times continued to tumble as MP Motorsport’s Hauger set the fastest time as the track gathered grip.

The Norwegian briefly lost the top spot to the FIA F3 champion before taking the fastest time back with 20 minutes remaining.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Hauger was the fastest ahead of Bortoleto, with Martins in third. Frenchman Hadjar was in P4 ahead of Antonelli.

Ollie Bearman, fresh off his Formula 1 debut last time out in Saudi Arabia, ran wide at Turn 6. 

Miyata ran wide for a second time in the session but managed to continue, disrupting what became a chaotic session for the Japanese driver.

The bar continued to be lowered as Hauger broke the 1:30 barrier, setting a 1:29.654 as Antonelli drove to second.

More incidents followed as Martins held a slide at Turn 5 and got close to the wall as Taylor Barnard drove through the grass at Turn 1.

A brief lull occurred with 10 minutes to go as some of the field took the opportunity to tweak the setup of their cars.

Pepe Martí suffered a quiet session by his lofty standards; the Spaniard climbed out of his Campos with 8 minutes to go in a difficult start to the weekend.

The gravel at Turn 1 welcomed its second Hitech of the session as Aron locked up in a similar incident to his team mate Cordeel.

The times became very close at the sharp end, with Hadjar going just 0.001 slower than Hauger. 

The red flags were raised with 3 minutes to go, as Rafael Villagómez spun at Turn 2 before the stalling.

The Mexican’s incident brought an end to the session with Hauger fastest ahead of Hadjar and Antonelli.

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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