Series leader fastest in Jerez
George Russell has got his penultimate race weekend underway in fine style by topping free practice this morning at the Circuito de Jerez, grabbing the top spot halfway through the session and continuing to improve on his own time all the way to the flag to claim the honours by less than a tenth from ART teammates Jack Aitken and Anthoine Hubert.
The Briton’s best time of 1:30.214 came late in the session with all of the field on track: the closing minutes saw improvements all along the pitlane, with Aitken closing down his title rival to just 0.073s but unable to reclaim the top spot.
The track opened to warm and sunny conditions, with Tatiana Calderon leading all of her rivals straight out on track: the Colombian was the first driver to set a competitive time but was soon displaced by Raoul Hyman as the times tumbled: Aitken, Hubert and Kevin Joerg all spent time on top of the timesheets, with the Briton in P1 at the halfway mark just before teammate Russell grabbed it from him.
The session calmed down until the closing minutes, with everyone on track and looking to improve. Russell pushed past his previous best time, with most of the field also improving behind him, but no one was able to overturn the Mercedes F1 junior driver before the flag emerged to close the session.
Fukuzumi will be disappointed to round out the ART 1-2-3-4 behind his teammates but ahead of Dan Ticktum, Leonardo Pulcini, Steijn Schothorst, Niko Kari, Calderon and Bruno Baptista, all of whom were within a second of the top spot and will be looking to improve in this afternoon’s qualifying session.
Provisional Qualifying Classification
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
George RUSSELL
ART Grand Prix
1:30.214
20
2.
Jack AITKEN
ART Grand Prix
1:30.287
20
3.
Anthoine HUBERT
ART Grand Prix
1:30.399
20
4.
Nirei FUKUZUMI
ART Grand Prix
1:30.505
21
5.
Daniel TICKTUM
DAMS
1:30.676
20
6.
Leonardo PULCINI
Arden International
1:30.677
21
7.
Steijn SCHOTHORST
Arden International
1:30.788
21
8.
Niko KARI
Arden International
1:30.897
21
9.
Tatiana CALDERON
DAMS
1:31.060
20
10.
Bruno BAPTISTA
DAMS
1:31.078
20
11.
Raoul HYMAN
Campos Racing
1:31.176
19
12.
Arjun MAINI
Jenzer Motorsport
1:31.176
20
13.
Kevin JOERG
Trident
1:31.477
19
14.
Giuliano ALESI
Trident
1:31.586
22
15.
Juan Manuel CORREA
Jenzer Motorsport
1:31.663
20
16.
Dorian BOCCOLACCI
Trident
1:31.681
21
17.
Julien FALCHERO
Campos Racing
1:31.706
19
18.
Alessio LORANDI
Jenzer Motorsport
1:31.832
19
19.
Marcos SIEBERT
Campos Racing
1:31.934
19
20.
Ryan TVETER
Trident
1:32.394
19