Argentinean leads the way in Spielberg


Marcos Siebert has grabbed the bragging rights by topping the timesheets in this afternoon’s busy free practice at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, claiming the top spot late in a hot and sunny session with a laptime of 1:19.703 to lead the way just ahead of Santino Ferrucci and Nirei Fukuzumi.


The session opened under ominously cloudy skies, with all of the field rushing to get out on track when the green lights came on, but it quickly dispersed as the drivers warmed their tyres leaving hot and sunny conditions for almost all of the session. Ferrucci set the first competitive lap before running well wide at the final corner, launching over the kerbs and just staying out of the barriers as Fukuzumi crossed the line to take the top spot from the American, with Giuliano Alesi in P2.


The Frenchman soon went one better to hold the top spot for the first set of tyres, with the field circulating on long run pace until just before the half hour mark when Anthoine Hubert ground to a halt just past turn 3, prompting a brief VSC period to remove his stricken car and for all of his rivals to return to the pits for fresh rubber.


On the second set of tyres Dorian Boccolacci set the early pace before the floodgates opened late in the session: Fukuzumi, Leonardo Pulcini and Alesi all swapped best times before Siebert claimed the honours with 5 minutes remaining, with Ferrucci and Fukuzumi beating their best times but just missing out on the top spot as the chequered flag emerged.


Behind the top three Alesi, Pulcini, Jack Aitken, George Russell, Raoul Hyman, Alessio Lorandi and Jenzer teammate Arjun Maini rounded out the top ten in a session which say 12 drivers within 0.5s of the fastest lap: it bodes well for yet another competitive qualifying session tomorrow morning.


Provisional Free Practice Classification


  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 1:19.703 27
2. Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1:19.739 22
3. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:19.829 26
4. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:19.894 25
5. Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 1:19.918 27
6. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:20.001 27
7. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:20.003 26
8. Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 1:20.004 24
9. Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:20.019 26
10. Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1:20.123 27
11. Dorian Boccolacci Trident 1:20.155 23
12. Niko Kari Arden International 1:20.181 27
13. Steijn Schothorst Arden International 1:20.301 27
14. Kevin Jörg Trident 1:20.394 25
15. Julien Falchero Campos Racing 1:20.528 26
16. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:20.581 27
17. Bruno Baptista DAMS 1:20.605 23
18. Tatiana Calderon DAMS 1:20.774 25
19. Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1:22.142 11