ART Grand Prix ace quickest in incident-filled session

Russian ace Sergey Sirotkin set the best laptime in today’s free practice at Monte Carlo with a 1:20.361 in an eventful session. Barcelona race winners Norman Nato and Alex Lynn completed the top three – one tenth slower than Sirotkin.

It was Nato who set the early pace, but Sirotkin was able to improve on the Racing Engineering driver’s laptime to claim P1 in the opening stages. It didn’t last long though as Series leader Pierre Gasly dipped under 1m21s on the ten minute mark, but the PREMA racer had a bit of over-steer coming into St Devote which sent him wide. He clipped the barrier heavily damaging his car in the process. The Virtual Safety car was deployed as the marshals recovered Gasly’s machine.

Only seconds after the proceedings were re-started, Nobuharu Matsushita locked up at Turn 1 and went straight into the barrier, thus effectively ending his session. Once the track was cleared, Sirotkin found some extra pace to claim P1 again, clocking in a laptime one tenth quicker than Gasly’s.

There was more drama after Danïel de Jong also locked up at St Devote and put the Tecpro barrier to good use. The marshals recovered the Dutchman’s car and the session was live again. Jordan King went quickest with a laptime of 1:20.735 but Sirotkin went three tenths better to reclaim the top spot.

Nato and Lynn tried their hardest to beat the Russian’s time but had to settle for P2 and P3 respectively. At the chequered flag, Arthur Pic finished P4 ahead of King, Mitch Evans, Gasly, Raffaele Marciello, Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.

With the top ten drivers running within the same second, no one can predict which driver will claim pole position later today. The qualifying session will be divided into two groups with Group A made up of odd numbered cars and taking to the track first at 16.15.

Monte Carlo, Monaco – Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Sergey Sirotkin
ART Grand Prix
1:20.361
22
2.
Norman Nato
Racing Engineering
1:20.440
22
3.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:20.471
24
4.
Arthur Pic
Rapax
1:20.666
22
5.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:20.735
25
6.
Mitch Evans
Pertamina Campos Racing
1:20.825
26
7.
Pierre Gasly
PREMA Racing
1:20.959
7
8.
Raffaele Marciello
RUSSIAN TIME
1:21.001
23
9.
Oliver Rowland
MP Motorsport
1:21.039
22
10.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:21.221
23
11.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:21.424
24
12.
Sergio Canamasas
Carlin
1:21.483
23
13.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:21.652
26
14.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Campos Racing
1:21.954
26
15.
Antonio Giovinazzi
PREMA Racing
1:22.023
25
16.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
Carlin
1:22.212
22
17.
Gustav Malja
Rapax
1:22.392
24
18.
Daniël de Jong
MP Motorsport
1:22.473
9
19
Nabil Jeffri
Arden International
1:23.210
24
20.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:23.867
9
21.
Jimmy Eriksson
Arden International
1:23.979
24
22.
Philo Paz Armand
Trident
1:24.024
24