Practice report

Drugovich fastest in F2 Bahrain practice

Felipe Drugovich topped the times in the opening practice session of the FIA Formula 2 Championship season in Bahrain.

Felipe Drugovich, UNI-Virtuosi

The UNI Virtuosi driver (pictured in Bahrain testing) ended the 45-minute session with a 1m45.340s benchmark posted on the new-for-2021 hard tyre.

His effort was some 3.6 seconds shy of the outright pre-season testing pace set by ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard earlier this month.

New Carlin recruit Dan Ticktum proved to be Drugovich’s nearest rival, ending the outing 0.141s adrift having enjoyed a short spell at the top of the times.

Hitech Grand Prix’s Liam Lawson completed the top three a further tenth back as the field elected to focus on race runs.

After a series of installation tours, the first timed laps came 12 minutes into the session with Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung posting the first real indicative time with a 1m46.943s.

Boschung continued to lower his benchmark by three tenths before he was toppled by Ticktum, who posted a 1m45.554s on the new specification hard tyre with 27 minutes remaining.

Drugovich was next to threaten the top of the timesheets as he dipped 0.141s underneath Ticktum, who continued to better his times to lead the session at the halfway point.

The order remained largely unchanged for the second half of the session.

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DAMS driver Marcus Armstrong was fourth fastest narrowly ahead of one of the title favourites Robert Shwartzman, who popped into fifth as the session ticked into its final 10 minutes.

Lirim Zendeli (MP Motorsport) emerged as the top rookie in sixth, while Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), and F2 newcomers Bent Viscaal (Trident) and Oscar Piastri (Prema Racing) completed the top 10.

Early title favourites Guanyu Zhou (UNI Virtuosi) and Lundgaard could only set times good enough for 12th and 13th positions respectively.

The session ran green throughout with the only incidents of note being a series of lock ups from drivers on the approach to Turns 1 and 10.

The field will return for a 30-minute qualifying session at 1:30pm GMT (4:30pm local time).

As previously reported, the fastest 10 runners in qualifying will be reversed to create the starting order for race one. The Saturday qualifying order will be used to form the grid for Sunday’s race three.

Bahrain F2 practice results

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