Yuki Tsunoda made it two out of two in today’s Free Practise session as the Japanese driver was fastest ahead of Hitech’s Nikita Mazepin and Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala.
With the prospect of rain dawning for tomorrow’s Feature Race, the 22 drivers knew that any mistakes in Practice could put them on the back foot for Qualifying as track temperatures reached 50 degrees.
Marcus Armstrong suffered an early scare with a dramatic 360 into the Turn 7 ruining the Kiwi’s tyres in the process. However, he kept the engine firing and was able to get back on track.
Next, to hit trouble was Mick Schumacher who spun off at Turn 5 tapping the barrier and beaching his car into the gravel trap. With the session stopped to retrieve the German’s car Schumancher walked back to the support race paddock.
Carlin showed good pace early on in the session with Tsunoda going fastest with a time of 1.15.692 whilst teammate Daruvala was just over three tenths behind with a time of 1.16.017.
Luca Ghiotto got his weekend off to a good start with the Italian finishing fourth fastest behind both Carlin drivers and his Hitech teammate with a time of 1.16.045.
Last weekend’s pacesetter Guanyu Zhou had a quiet session as the Chinese driver went off at Turn 1 ruining his lap. The Renault junior managed 11th fastest with a time of 1.16.293
Giuliano Alesi also showed early pace as the HWA-Racelab driver went fifth fastest with a time of 1.16.066.
Mazepin who didn’t get any running in last week’s Free Practice session due to a technical issue but the Russian had a much better day today as he managed to split the Carlin drivers with a time of 1.15.838 putting him second fastest.
Alesi’s HWA teammate Artem Markelov had a difficult start to the weekend. The Russian went wide into Turn 8 spoiling his lap in the process. The two-time Red Bull Ring winner received the black and white flag for his troubles due to track limit infringements with race control deleting four of his laps.
Last weekend’s winners Callum IIott and Felipe Drugovich had a testing Practice session. The Brit could only manage 13th fastest whilst Drugovich finished in 20th place ahead of fellow countryman Guilherme Samaia.
ART’s Christian Lundgaard had a solid start to the weekend with the Dane sixth fastest. A time of 1.16.100 saw him finish three places ahead of teammate Armstrong who was over a tenth of a second behind.
Robert Shwartzman kept PREMA’s hopes alive as he managed seventh fastest in the session ahead of DAMS’ Dan Ticktum who found the runoff area during the session.
Jack Aitken’s busy day continued as he jumped back into his Campos F2 car after a session driving the Williams FW42 in Formula 1 free practice. The British-Korean finished the session 10th fastest.
*Credit: Red Bull Content Pool