Stoffel Vandoorne has made his intentions pretty clear regarding his ambitions for this weekend’s GP2 round in Budapest: the Belgian driver set the quickest laptime in today’s free practice in a 1:29.479. He edged Felipe Nasr out of the top spot for 0.006s. Stéphane Richelmi completed the top three.
The session opened under blue skies and in high temperatures. All twenty-six drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Medium tyres, and it was Sergio Canamasas who set the early pace. However, Nasr was soon able to improve on the Spaniard’s laptime and moved up to P1 – a hairsbreadth ahead of Vandoorne and Johnny Cecotto.
Series leader Jolyon Palmer was the first man to dip under 1m29s, but Nasr went three tenths of a second quicker than the Briton on the following lap to claim the top spot. Vandoorne also found some extra pace to move past Palmer and take P2 – two tenths slower than the Carlin racer. Fifteen minutes into the session, the ART Grand Prix driver went even quicker and with a laptime of 1:29.476 edged Nasr out of the top of the standings.
A minute later, a collision between Palmer and Cecotto took place at turn 2 which sent both men back into the pits. The Venezuelan driver’s session ended prematurely whilst the DAMS mechanics kept busy trying to fix some damage on Palmer’s front left suspension. He could re-join the action with eight minutes left on the clock, but was unable to improve on his personal best time.
At the chequered flag, Vandoorne still sat pretty at the top of the timesheet ahead of Nasr and Richelmi. Palmer finished fourth ahead of Mitch Evans, Cecotto, returnee Kimiya Sato, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Simon Trummer and Daniel De Jong.
Budapest – Free Practice
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:29.479 19
2. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:29.540 21
3. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:29.838 20
4. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:29.877 14
5. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.950 19
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:29.989 12
7. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:30.039 21
8. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:30.048 20
9. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:30.098 20
10. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:30.164 19
11. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:30.244 19
12. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:30.254 17
13. Tom Dillmann EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:30.282 19
14. André Negrao Arden International 1:30.404 18
15. Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1:30.415 20
16. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:30.438 17
17. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:30.453 14
18. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:30.507 21
19 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:30.512 19
20. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:30.691 20
21. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:30.718 19
22. Julian Leal Carlin 1:30.807 19
23. Rene Binder Arden International 1:31.005 19
24. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:31.718 19
25. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:31.182 18
26. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:31.195 19