Dan Ticktum led the way in free practice for this weekend’s Barcelona Formula 2 round, heading his former F3 title rival Mick Schumacher by nine thousandths of a second.
Prema driver and Ferrari junior Schumacher spent much of the first 15 minutes of the 45-minute session in command of the timesheets, becoming the first driver to break the 90-second barrier with a 1m29.933s.
The German was briefly deposed by Louis Deletraz on a 1m29.807s before regaining control with a 1m29.669s with just under half an hour left on the clock.
But moments later that was beaten by DAMS driver Ticktum, who recorded a 1m29.660s that would go unthreatened for the rest of the session as the field largely turned its attentions to gathering long-run data on the hard-compound Pirelli tyre.
Honda protege Yuki Tsunoda, who became F2’s newest winner in the Silverstone sprint race, was third quickest and just 0.101s off the pace for Carlin, although the Japanese driver did experience some late trouble as he stalled in the pitlane twice.
Charouz driver Deletraz ended up fourth, followed by championship leader Callum Ilott in the best of the UNI-Virtuosi entries, HWA’s Artem Markelov and Luca Ghiotto for Hitech.
Marino Sato was an encouraging eighth-fastest for Trident but caused a virtual safety car and red flag with nine minutes left on the clock when he went off the track at Turn 4 and parked up on an access road.
Action resumed with just under five minutes left but with no notable changes to the times.
Rounding out the top 10 were Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) and Robert Shwartzman in the second of the Prema cars, a little under half a second slower than team-mate Schumacher – with whom he collided while fighting for the lead in the most recent race at Silverstone.
ART Grand Prix had a low-key session as Christian Lundgaard, Ilott’s closest challenger in the points, was only 16th fastest, four places ahead of team-mate Marcus Armstrong.
Fresh from his appearance in Formula 1’s first Spanish Grand Prix practice session for Williams, Roy Nissany was 22nd and last for Trident after a brief trip through the gravel.
|2||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||0.009s|
|4||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||0.147s|
|6||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA RACELAB||0.304s|
|7||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||0.349s|
|9||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||0.390s|
|10||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||0.451s|
|11||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||0.519s|
|14||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||0.660s|
|15||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||0.720s|
|16||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||0.790s|
|18||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA RACELAB||0.944s|
|19||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||0.989s|
|20||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||1.021s|
|21||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||1.287s|