Barcelona F2: Ferrari F1 junior Charles Leclerc tops free practice

Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in practice for the Barcelona round of the 2017 Formula 2 season

Barcelona F2: Ferrari F1 junior Charles Leclerc tops free practice

Prema Racing driver Leclerc, who leads the F2 championship after winning the sprint race in Bahrain last month, set a best time of 1m29.974s one third of the way through the 45-minute session.

The 19-year-old was the only driver to produce a sub-90-second laptime and he finished 0.042s clear of ART Grand Prix's Alexander Albon.

Sergio Sette Camara finished third for MP Motorsport, ahead of his team-mate Jordan King, with Racing Engineering's Louis Deletraz in fifth place.

Shortly after setting his best time, Sette Camara was frustrated with Gustav Malja - who set the 17th quickest lap - when the Swedish driver appeared to impede him under braking at Turn 10.

Artem Markelov, the winner of the feature race in Bahrain, set the sixth fastest time, just in front of McLaren F1 junior Nyck de Vries.

Arden's Norman Nato, who won the feature race in Barcelona in 2016 when the series was known as GP2, ended up eighth fastest.

Luca Ghitto was ninth in the second Russian Time machine, which lost a piece of bodywork when the Italian ran onto the main straight mid-way through the session.

Although Ghiotto was able to carry on and complete the session, the virtual safety car was briefly deployed as marshals retrieved the errant piece of bodywork.

Sergio Canamasas rounded out the top ten, with Renault F1 junior driver Oliver Rowland 11th for, and the Honda-backed Nobuharu Matsushita 12th.

Leclerc's Prema team-mate Antonio Fuoco finished down in 19th place after not setting a representative time until the second half of the session after his mechanics worked on his car in the pitlane early on.

When he did get going he set a best time that was 2.8s slower than Leclerc's best and he was one of a number of driver's to slide wide at the exit of Turn 13.

Things got worse for Fuoco - who is also a Ferrari Academy driver - when he pulled over at the side of the track on the run up to Turn 12 and climbed out with just over a minute remaining.

FREE PRACTICE TIMES

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Prema Racing 1m29.974s - 16
2 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1m30.016s 0.042s 21
3 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 1m30.484s 0.510s 17
4 Jordan King MP Motorsport 1m30.599s 0.625s 19
5 Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering 1m30.644s 0.670s 17
6 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m30.843s 0.869s 16
7 Nyck de Vries Rapax 1m30.882s 0.908s 21
8 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 1m30.886s 0.912s 19
9 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 1m31.043s 1.069s 15
10 Sergio Canamasas Trident 1m31.086s 1.112s 19
11 Oliver Rowland DAMS 1m31.094s 1.120s 16
12 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m31.157s 1.183s 21
13 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m31.355s 1.381s 16
14 Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 1m31.355s 1.381s 17
15 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Rapax 1m31.394s 1.420s 9
16 Roberto Merhi Campos Racing 1m31.444s 1.470s 20
17 Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1m31.560s 1.586s 18
18 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m31.600s 1.626s 18
19 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing 1m32.845s 2.871s 17
20 Nabil Jeffri Trident 1m32.989s 3.015s 12


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Barcelona F2: Ferrari F1 junior Charles Leclerc takes pole position

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