Clarke fastest in first F2 practice

Jack Clarke set the pace in the opening Formula 2 free practice session of the year at Silverstone

Clarke fastest in first F2 practice

The British driver was the first to dip under the 1m52s barrier on the grand prix layout and improved his time to 1m51.629s - which would stand as the benchmark until the end of the session - within the first 15 minutes.

Spaniard Ramon Pineiro belied his lack of race experience in F2 to impressively set the second quickest time, just 0.1s slower than Clarke, while series returnee Mirko Bortolotti leapt up from eighth to third with a couple of minutes remaining.

Six drivers lapped in the 1m51s with Mihai Marinescu, Miki Monras and Alex Brundle completing the sextet and all within 0.368s of the pace. Will Bratt, Christopher Zanella, Tobias Hegewald and Benjamin Lariche rounded out the top 10.

The session featured a number of excursions and incidents, with spins for James Cole and Johannes Theobald bringing out the red flags on two separate occasions. Theobald's incident, which occurred with just three minutes remaining, brought about a premature end to the session.

Armaan Ebrahim also had a spin, but continued unscathed, while his fellow Indian Parthiva Sureshwaren ran wide at Abbey early on.

Pos Driver Time Gap 1. Jack Clarke 1m51.629s 2. Ramon Pineiro 1m51.729s + 0.100s 3. Mirko Bortolotti 1m51.880s + 0.251s 4. Mihai Marinescu 1m51.884s + 0.255s 5. Miki Monras 1m51.942s + 0.313s 6. Alex Brundle 1m51.997s + 0.368s 7. Will Bratt 1m52.368s + 0.739s 8. Christopher Zanella 1m52.511s + 0.882s 9. Tobias Hegewald 1m52.546s + 0.917s 10. Benjamin Lariche 1m52.607s + 0.978s 11. Tom Gladdis 1m52.679s + 1.050s 12. Armaan Ebrahim 1m52.931s + 1.302s 13. Maxim Snegirev 1m52.969s + 1.340s 14. Johannes Theobald 1m53.101s + 1.472s 15. James Cole 1m53.113s + 1.484s 16. Mikkel Mac 1m53.297s + 1.668s 17. Thiemo Storz 1m53.337s + 1.708s 18. Natalia Kowalska 1m53.360s + 1.731s 19. Parthiva Sureshwaren 1m53.553s + 1.924s 20. Kelvin Snoeks 1m53.809s + 2.180s 21. Jose Luis Abadin 1m54.126s + 2.497s 22. Plamen Kralev 1m54.356s + 2.727s 23. Sung-Hak Mun 1m54.539s + 2.910s 24. Julian Theobald 1m54.859s + 3.230s 
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