Baku F2: Luca Ghiotto beats Nobubaru Matsushita to lead practice

Championship leader Luca Ghiotto stole the fastest time in the Formula 2 practice session in Baku, unseating Honda Formula 1 junior Nobuharu Matsushita late on

Baku F2: Luca Ghiotto beats Nobubaru Matsushita to lead practice

With the session being the first on-track action of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend in Baku, times tumbled throughout and drivers found large amounts of dust and rubbish as plastic bags and bottles were kicked up throughout the running.

As times really started to tumble in the last 20 minutes, it was close at the top with Carlin's Matsushita and Sergio Sette Camara of DAMS setting exactly the same time, before Ghiotto stormed through for the Virtuosi Racing team and took a second out of both to head the order.

With five minutes to go, Matsushita went quickest again at a track where he was fast in his previous stint in F2.

But watched on by last year's F2 champion and current Williams F1 driver George Russell from the pitwall, Ghiotto stormed to the fastest time as he crossed the line as the chequered flag flew with a lap 0.2 seconds up on the opposition.

Gearing up for his Indianapolis 500 appearance next month, Jordan King was rapid on his way to the third best time for MP Motorsport, ahead of ART Grand Prix's Nyck de Vries and fastest DAMS runner Nicholas Latifi.

Prema's Mick Schumacher delivered a late flier to set the sixth fastest time, ahead of Callum Ilott.

Ferrari protege Ilott's first F2 weekend was ruined by a qualifying crash in Bahrain but he has made a better start in Azerbaijan so far.

Sette Camara, Ilott's Sauber Junior Team partner Juan Manuel Correa and the second Prema car of Sean Gelael rounded out the top 10.

Practice times

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 1m56.637s - 15
2 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin 1m56.919s 0.282s 15
3 Jordan King MP Motorsport 1m57.023s 0.386s 15
4 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 1m57.441s 0.804s 17
5 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m57.446s 0.809s 16
6 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 1m57.576s 0.939s 17
7 Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1m57.887s 1.250s 17
8 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS 1m58.029s 1.392s 16
9 Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1m58.273s 1.636s 16
10 Sean Gelael Prema Racing 1m58.377s 1.740s 17
11 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1m58.647s 2.010s 16
12 Louis Deletraz Carlin 1m58.685s 2.048s 14
13 Ralph Boschung Trident 1m59.010s 2.373s 14
14 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1m59.699s 3.062s 16
15 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1m59.753s 3.116s 17
16 Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden 1m59.801s 3.164s 19
17 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1m59.994s 3.357s 17
18 Tatiana Calderon BWT Arden 2m01.994s 5.357s 17
19 Dorian Boccolacci Campos Racing 2m02.474s 5.837s 13
20 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 2m09.848s 13.211s 7


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