F2 Testing Barcelona

Formula 2 was back on track this week for their in-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Let’s take a look at how it went.

Day 1-

The first session of testing, saw a sprinkling of rain and a track temp of just 14 degrees, running was reduced on a quiet opening morning of testing, with only two drivers posting more than 30 laps. Championship leader, Drugovich picked up from where he left off at Round 2, with the Brazilian jumping to the top of the time sheets.

There were three stoppages during the morning, including Calan Williams who spun to a stop at Turn 2. Lawson’s Carlin came to a halt at Turn 10, before Cem Bolukbasi lost control of his Charouz at Turn 9 and went into the barrier.

The track temperature marginally increased in the afternoon, and this meant the grid was able to offer up a few push laps on the back of their race runs. After a benchmark time of 1:29.897 from Armstrong during the long-running, Boschung fired to the top of the field, dropping a 1:27.929.

There were two more Red Flags in the afternoon, firstly for Vips who clipped the barriers at Turn 3 and then later for Logan Sargeant whose Carlin came to a halt on the track at Turn 1. Despite the stoppages, there was significantly more running in the afternoon. Boschung and Williams completed the joint-most laps with 55 each.

1Ralph BoschungCampos Racing1:27.929
2Marcus Armstrong HiTech Grand Prix1:28.170
3Ayumu IwasaDams1:28.331
4Marino SatoVirtuosi Racing1:28.436
5Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport1:29.131
Top 5 Afternoon Session.

Day 2-

A drop of rain and dark clouds threatened a wet session on the morning of Day 2, but apart from a brief spitting the track would remain relatively dry throughout the third outing of the test. Trident’s Richard Verschoor set the benchmark time at the start, posting a 1:29.328.

There were several interruptions throughout the morning session, beginning when Marino Sato’s stopped on the main straight in the opening hour. Iwasa lost control of his DAMS and clipped the wall at Turn 5. Turn 5 was proving tricky to master in the conditions as Hughes and Caldwell both ended up in the gravel shortly after. There were two further Red Flags as Vips spun to a stop at Turn 11 and before Caldwell came to a standstill at Turn 4.

Roy Nissany set the fastest time of the morning session with a 1:28.812, Richard Verschoor was second with a 1:29.328 and Iwasa in third with a 1:29.596.

After a stop-start morning session, rain proved to be the only real interrupting factor in the afternoon as a sprinkle lead to a spell stuck in the garages, with too little rain for wet tyres and too much for slicks. Vips set the benchmark at 1:30.148 in the opening half an hour, but the Red Bull reserve, was knocked down to third by his HiTech teammate as well as Felipe Drugovich.

There was a brief stoppage as Calan Williams came to a halt at the final corner and brought out the session’s only Red Flag. There wasn’t much improvement in the final half an hour, PREMA’s Dennis Hauger managed to break into the top 10.

1Marcus ArmstrongHiTech Grand Prix1:29.752
2Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport1:29.960
3Juri VipsHiTech Grand Prix1:30.148
4Amaury CordeelVan Amersfoort Racing1:30.169
5Dennis HaugerPREMA Racing1:30.169
Top 5 Afternoon Session.

Day 3-

The sun made its appearance on the final day of the test, the teams wasted no time getting out on track for some representative qualifying simulations. Lawson put on a set of softs and set the baseline time of a 1:27.888, marking the quickest time of the test so far. The PREMAs had also gone on fresh softs but couldn’t quite match the Carlin’s pace, Hauger 0.057s off in second and Daruvala in 3rd a further 0.074s.

Novalak stopped at Turn 2, which brought out a red flag. Doohan set the most laps in the three hour stint, with 50 to his name. The top 3 were P1: Drugovich, P2: Lawson and P3: Doohan.

After a brief delay to the afternoon session due to track maintenance, the session began. The majority of the grid was focused on long runs and race simulations in the afternoon, with Vips setting the benchmark at 1:29.888.

Vips was one of three stoppages during the final session, with the driver coming to a halt at Turn 3 in the final five minutes. Vesti and Hauger had also both stopped during the afternoon with the ART car coming to a stop at Turn 15 and PREMA pulling up at Turn 5.

2021 podium finisher, David Beckmann subbed in for Cem Bolukbasi at Charouz on Thursday after the Turkish racer suffered a physical problem on the first day of testing.

1Juri VipsHiTech Grand Prix1:29.288
2Jake HughesVan Amersfoort Racing1:30.802
3Enzo FittipaldiCharouz Racing System1:31.541
4David BeckmannCharouz Racing System1:31.633
5Amaury CordeelVan Amersfoort Racing1:31.801
Top 5 Afternoon Session.

Formula 2 will be back on track next weekend, in Imola for Round 3!

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