ART Grand Prix’s Esteban Ocon fastest from Luca Ghiotto in Hungary
In a sweltering forty-five minute free practice session, Mercedes backed and ART Grand Prix rookie Esteban Ocon topped the timings by a mere 0.038s. Series leader and Trident star Luca Ghiotto gave it his best shot to improve on the Frenchman’s time in the final stages to finish P2, whilst Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff pipped Marvin Kirchhöfer at the chequered flag for third fastest.
The track temperature was 44 degrees as the drivers headed onto the Hungaroring for their first track action of the weekend. Ghiotto was the early pace setter before an early red flag halted the practice session as Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough stopped on track at Turn 14 due to technical gremlins. The marshalls’ were quick to clean the track whilst the Brit walked back into the pitlane, after just six lap loads completed.
Once the session resumed, there were twenty minutes left on the clock with most drivers having six to eight laps under their belt. The Italian improved on his personal best yet again, this time by over three tenths after lighting all three sectors purple to increase his advantage at the front.
Matheo Tuscher and Alex Palou shot up to second and third, but Ghiotto’s margin at the top of the timesheet was a huge 1.187s with just over ten minutes to go. Frenchman Ocon put his head down and set a flier to displace Ghiotto from the head of the timings, he too posting the fastest time in all three sectors.
A three tenth advantage over Ghiotto clearly wasn’t enough, as on the next lap Ocon bettered his time to clock a lap a second quicker than the Trident driver. There was movement behind the pair with Pal Varhaug and Mitchell Gilbert shooting up to second and third respectively until Ocon’s teammate Kirchhöfer snuck into P2.
At the chequered flag, the positions were still changing as Bernstorff rose up the standings into third. But all eyes were on Ghiotto as he lit the first sector purple on his last attempt but remained in P2. Therefore Ocon finished fastest ahead of Ghiotto, Bernstorff, Kirchhöfer, Kevin Ceccon, Varhaug, Gilbert, Adderly Fong, Antonio Fuoco and Artur Janosz.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time tomorrow morning and it promises to be another scorcher!
Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:34.546
16
2.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:34.584
17
3.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:34.688
19
4.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:34.896
17
5.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:34.898
18
6.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:35.131
17
7.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:35.315
18
8.
Adderly Fong
Koiranen GP
1:35.377
15
9.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:35.557
18
10.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:35.655
19
11.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:35.670
18
12.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:35.943
17
13.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:36.292
18
14.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:36.319
17
15.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.364
16
16.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.434
17
17.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:36.974
19
18.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:36.982
18
19.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:37.171
18
20.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:37.207
13
21.
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:37.707
17
22.
Samin Gomez
Campos Racing
1:37.933
16
23.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:38.292
6