Mihai Marinescu ends today's F2 test at the Algarve on top

First and second drivers separated by 0.001s in final session with top 13 within one second

Mihai Marinescu went quickest by a mere 0.001s during today’s (Thursday) fiercely contested Formula Two test at Portimão, which saw the top 13 drivers lapping inside one second in the final session.

The 23-year-old just edged out Kevin Mirocha with a best time of 1:33.871s to go top for the day with current championship leader Luciano Bacheta third and Markus Pommer, who topped the day’s previous three sessions, in fourth. Parthiva Sureshwaren completed the top five.

The morning’s first two sessions both saw drivers having to contend with light rain and their first chance to sample the new Yokohama wet tyre. 21-year-old Pommer topped both these sessions comfortably followed by the first dry session after the lunch break to make it three from three.

In the day’s last 55-minute stint, where drivers were able to use their overboost, it was Pommer who once again looked the most threatening early on and the first to break into the 1:33s. He was closely followed by Marinescu and Bacheta, celebrating his 22nd birthday, before the Romanian then went even quicker with Mirocha lapping an incredible 0.001s adrift and leaving the top four drivers separated by just one tenth of a second.

A second red flag then interrupted running in the final stages but no one was able to better Marinescu’s pace with his best time 1.322s quicker than the pole from 2010.

Swiss teenager Mathéo Tuscher, who had looked quick all day, ended sixth quickest overall ahead of Plamen Kralev, one of his best qualifying performances, and Alex Fontana in eighth.  David Zhu and Hector Hurst completed the top 10 ahead of tomorrow’s first free practice session for rounds three and four at the Algarve circuit, which gets underway at 10:10 (local time).

Formula Two Results: Portugal test – overall times.

1. Mihai Marinescu, 1:33.871s
2. Kevin Mirocha, +0.001s         
3. Luciano Bacheta, +0.078s
4. Markus Pommer, +0.099s
5. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +0.422s
6. Mathéo Tuscher, +0.460s
7. Plamen Kralev, +0.606s
8. Alex Fontana, +0.615s
9. David Zhu, +0.689s
10. Hector Hurst, +0.766s