Vips leads the session opener in Monza

Vips leads the session opener in Monza

Vips Free PracticeVips leads the session opener in Monza

Juri Vips picked up from where he left off last week in Zandvoort with a second-place podium, leading the session opener in Monza fastest for Hitech ahead of Ralph Boschung by 0.313s, as his teammate Marcus Armstrong closely followed in third.

As the sun slowly dried out from the Italian track, Ralph Boschung was the first to lead the session before a handful of drivers took turns of the lead, but Vips was quick to set a faster time with an unbeatable 1:32.337.

His Hitech teammate Marcus Armstrong has been eyeing the lead as he sustained some pressure from Theo Pourchaire, who took two podiums home last season in the venue.

Still, both drivers had to settle in third and fourth fastest, with only eight-hundredths of a second separating them, as Trident’s Richard Verschoor improved his best time to round out the top five.

The championship leader Felipe Drugovich showed pace in his title-deciding weekend in sixth fastest, 0.004s ahead of ART’s Frederik Vesti in seventh. Carlin’s Liam Lawson almost went fastest but ended up in eighth ahead of his fellow Red Bull Junior drivers Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger in ninth and tenth fastest.

The Qualifying session will get underway at 18.30 local times as the championship title is still fiercely contested.

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Vips Free PracticeVips leads the session opener in Monza