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F2 Bahrain: Drugovich leads practice from DAMS duo Iwasa and Nissany

Felipe Drugovich topped FIA Formula 2 practice in Bahrain, leading from Ayumu Iwasa and Roy Nissany.

Felipe Drugovich, MP Motorsport

Felipe Drugovich, MP Motorsport

Formula Motorsport Ltd

The MP Motorsport driver, who joins the Dutch outfit having taken four podiums for UNI Virtuosi last year, set a 1m44.484s to top the timesheet.

A last minute dash from DAMS rookie Iwasa was enough to take second place, bumping team-mate Nissany into third, 0.3s behind the leader in an encouraging start to the team's new era under the ownership of ex-Formula 1 driver Charles Pic.

Clement Novalak took fourth place, with a 1m44.769s just 0.01s off third, with Marcus Armstrong in fifth for Hitech Grand Prix.

Like FIA Formula 3, F2 has reverted to a two-race format this season, with one reversed-grid sprint race on Saturday and a feature race on Sunday. Both series have just one practice session on a Friday before qualifying later in the day.

Novalak was first to set a quick lap, putting a 1m46.879s on the board for MP Motorsport. But he was bumped down to third after Van Amersfoort Racing pair Amaury Cordeel and Jake Hughes went quicker, with the latter fastest with a 1m46.333s.

Much of the field headed on track with 30 minutes remaining of the session, with Charouz Racing System duo Enzo Fittipaldi and rookie Cem Bolukbasi next to put in laps.

Fittipaldi returns to F2 after suffering a fractured heel in a startline crash involving Theo Pourchaire in Jeddah at the end of last season.

As the times tumbled, Liam Lawson put himself into second for Carlin with a 1m45.742s, sitting behind Jake Hughes (VAR), with Olli Caldwell third for Campos Racing, having joined the team for the final two races of the 2021 campaign alongside his full-time race seat in F3 for Prema.

Rookie Iwasa impressed for DAMS with the second-fastest time

Rookie Iwasa impressed for DAMS with the second-fastest time

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Armstrong went second after setting a 1m45.415s, pushing fellow Kiwi Lawson and Trident’s Richard Verschoor into third and fourth. Former Ferrari Driver Academy member Armstrong enters his third season in the series, having finished 13th for DAMS in 2021.

PLUS: How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1

Armstrong improved on his earlier time to trade the top spot with Lawson, the 2021 DTM nearly-man briefly going quickest with a 1m45.215s, before Armstrong broke into the 1m44s with a 1m44.901s to top the timesheet.

Jehan Daruvala was next to break the 1m44s barrier, with the Red Bull junior topping Armstrong’s time by less than 0.2s to go quickest for Prema Racing.

Reigning F3 champion Dennis Hauger (Prema) put himself up into sixth position with less than eight minutes left of the session, but had been bumped back to 11th by the end.

PLUS: The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

With times continuing to improve, Novalak returned to the top of the timesheet with a 1m44.769s, before team-mate Felipe Drugovich went quicker by 0.3s.

Nissany was next to improve, with a 1m44.754s enough to put him up into second, before a last-minute run from Iwasa bumped the Israeli into third.

Jack Doohan, who finished runner-up in F3 last season, finished in 14th for Virtuosi.

F2 Bahrain Practice times:

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Brazil Felipe Drugovich Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'44.484  
2 Ayumu Iwasa Japan Nissan e.Dams 1'44.679 0.195
3 Israel Roy Nissany Japan Nissan e.Dams 1'44.754 0.270
4 Switzerland Clement Novalak Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'44.769 0.285
5 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United Kingdom HitechGP 1'44.833 0.349
6 India Jehan Daruvala Italy Prema Powerteam 1'44.838 0.354
7 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom Carlin 1'44.886 0.402
8 United States Logan Sargeant United Kingdom Carlin 1'45.112 0.628
9 United Kingdom Olli Caldwell Spain Campos Racing 1'45.241 0.757
10 United Kingdom Jake Hughes Van Amersfoort Racing 1'45.244 0.760
11 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Powerteam 1'45.370 0.886
12 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Italy Trident 1'45.414 0.930
13 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 1'45.476 0.992
14 Australia Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 1'45.548 1.064
15 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 1'45.845 1.361
16 Denmark Frederik Vesti France ART Grand Prix 1'46.047 1.563
17 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 1'46.200 1.716
18 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing 1'46.224 1.740
19 Australia Calan Williams Italy Trident 1'46.393 1.909
20 Japan Marino Sato Virtuosi Racing 1'46.750 2.266
21 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'46.842 2.358
22 Turkey Cem Bolukbasi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'47.905 3.421

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