Thai driver tops free practice at Yas Marina
Alexander Albon has claimed the early honours with a strong lap halfway through this morning’s free practice session for the final round of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship at the Yas Marina Circuit, taking advantage of an almost clear track to stop the clock at 1:48.974 to grab the top spot by over a tenth from Norman Nato and Nyck De Vries.
The session got underway to gloriously sunny conditions, with all of the drivers heading straight out to make the most of their time on track. Nobuharu Matsushita led the way early in the session, grabbing the first competitive lap time before teammate Albon claimed the top spot 10 minutes in, with Nato stealing it from him 5 minutes later.
With most of the field returning to the pits around the 20 minute mark, Albon was one of the few to remain on track: the Thai driver reclaimed the top spot at the halfway mark before returning to the pits. With the field concentrating on race run data in the second half of the session, the fight for the top spot was over.
Behind the top 3 Matsushita, Antonio Fuoco, Oliver Rowland, Artem Markelov, Sergio Sette Camara, new champion Charles Leclerc, Gustav Malja and Louis Deletraz were all within a second of the top spot and will be looking to close the gap in this evening’s qualifying session, to be held under lights for the first time since the season opening qualifying session in Bahrain.
Preliminary Free Practice Classification
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1
Alexander ALBON
ART Grand Prix
1:48.974
16
2
Norman NATO
Pertamina Arden
1:49.109
17
3
Nyck DE VRIES
Racing Engineering
1:49.211
18
4
Nobuharu MATSUSHITA
ART Grand Prix
1:49.243
17
5
Antonio FUOCO
PREMA Racing
1:49.285
19
6
Oliver ROWLAND
DAMS
1:49.342
17
7
Artem MARKELOV
RUSSIAN TIME
1:49.403
19
8
Sergio SETTE CAMARA
MP Motorsport
1:49.560
17
9
Charles LECLERC
PREMA Racing
1:49.651
19
10
Gustav MALJA
Racing Engineering
1:49.874
17
11
Louis DELÉTRAZ
Rapax
1:49.892
18
12
Alex PALOU
Campos Racing
1:50.025
18
13
Luca GHIOTTO
RUSSIAN TIME
1:50.121
17
14
Roberto MERHI
Rapax Trident
1:50.169
18
15
Nicholas LATIFI
DAMS
1:50.192
17
16
Jordan KING
MP Motorsport
1:50.378
21
17
Santino FERRUCCI
Trident
1:50.436
20
18
Sean GELAEL
Pertamina Arden
1:50.579
17
19
Lando NORRIS
Campos Racing
1:51.030
17
20
Nabil JEFFRI
Trident
1:51.926
17