Tsunoda sets the early pace in practice
Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda began his maiden F2 race weekend on a high after topping the timesheets in free practice by 0.054 ahead of the returning Luca Ghiotto and fellow debutant Marcus Armstrong.
Free practice session began with grey skies after heavy rain overnight. However, the track was dry for practice, with ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard the first man out to set a lap.
There was trouble early on for Nikita Mazepin whose Hitech Grand Prix struggled to fire up due to a technical issue, causing the Russian to be wheeled back into the pit lane.
Five minutes in Campos’ Jack Aitken quickly set the session benchmark with a time of 1.18.290 which was bettered by Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala who set a time of 1.18.143 as the times began to tumble.
ART Grand Prix’s rookie Marcus Armstrong invalidated his first flying lap by overcooking the Niki Lauder Kurve.
Callum Ilott was next to explore the Red Bull Ring’s vast runoff areas after missing his braking zone into the Jochen Rindt Kurve, causing him to lose valuable time.
Marino Sato’s practice came to an early halt after running his Trident into the gravel trap, losing the rear at the Wurth Kurve, causing the session to be stopped in order to clear the car.
Last year’s Feature race winner Nobuharu Matsushita spoiled his lap by going wide on the exit of the Rindt Kurve forcing him to take avoiding action.
No one could catch Tsunoda who stayed at the top of the time sheets ahead of Ghiotto and Armstrong. Zhou, Lundgaard and MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich rounding out the top six.