DAMS‘ Ayumu Iwasa stole the show with an impressive 1:28.882 in the final ten minutes of the session opener in Budapest, as long-time leader Frederik Vesti was not far behind. The PREMA Racing driver trailed Iwasa by a slim margin in second place ahead of ART’s Victor Martins in third.
The 2023 F2 Championship fights had reached a fever pitch in the previous round. Vesti’s once comfortable lead was significantly reduced as Theo Pourchaire is only six points adrift, eager to snatch the top spot.
The free practice session began with Vesti setting the initial benchmark with a 1:30.600, showcasing his prowess on the tight and twisty layout of the Hungaroring circuit. However, his lap time was later deleted due to a track limits violation, promoting ART’s Victor Martins to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:30.839.
Iwasa then briefly took the lead with a time of 1:30.141 before Vesti immediately responded with an even faster lap time of 1:29.031, just 0.060s ahead of Martins, while Iwasa settled for third.
As the session progressed, Iwasa continued to improve his performance, closely tailing Vesti. With ten minutes left on the clock, the Red Bull junior driver unleashed an impressive lap, setting a new benchmark of 1:28.882, solidifying his position at the top of the timesheets.
The session’s final moments saw Enzo Fittipaldi encounter technical issues in the pit lane, leaving his car unable to move and depriving him of a chance to make final improvements.
As the chequered flag waved, Ayumu Iwasa emerged as the fastest driver of the session, as Frederik Vesti claimed second for PREMA Racing, ahead of Victor Martins in third for ART and Campos Racing’s Kush Maini in fourth as ART’s Theo Pourchaire rounded out the top five.
Trident’s Roman Stanek was sixth fastest, ahead of MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala in seventh, and Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi secured eighth despite his technical woes.
Hitech’s Isack Hadjar claimed the ninth position, while Richard Verschoor from Van Amersfoort Racing concluded the top ten, rounding off a competitive free practice session.
All eyes now turn to the qualifying session at 16:00 local time.
Formula Motorsport Limited