Rownland leads the way in first F2 session

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Oliver Rowland has topped the timesheets in the first FIA Formula 2 Championship free practice session with a blistering lap under scorching conditions this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, leading the way for most of the session by less than a tenth from Artem Markelov and Charles Leclerc.

The Briton stopped the clocks at 1:42.221 just nine minutes into the session, which opened under a cloudless sky, with track temperatures at 45˚C as the lights went green to open the session. All of the drivers headed straight out onto the circuit to get the day started, with Johnny Cecotto setting the first competitive lap 6 minutes in, before being usurped by Nobuharu Matsushita next time round.

Rowland stole the top spot on the next lap, as Markelov (0.092s) and Antonio Fuoco (0.160s) following in his wake. With such extreme temperatures and serious tyre wear at the desert circuit there was little chance of improvement, although Leclerc had clearly saved some tyres for a quick run at the 15 minute mark to nab P3 by a hundredth from his teammate. 

The second half of the session was focused on race pace, leaving little opportunity for a change on the timesheet, with the only excitement revolving around a few drivers being caught out by the heat as they stopped at the end of the pitlane for practice starts, putting the marshals to work pushing the stricken cars back across the line for their teams to restart. 

Behind the top three Fuoco, Norman Nato, Luca Ghiotto, Nyck De Vries, Johnny Cecotto and Matsushita all posted times within a second of the top spot, and will be hoping to find a small margin in the cooler conditions for this evening’s qualifying session. 

Round 1 Sakhir, Bahrain – Free Practice results

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Oliver Rowland

DAMS

1:42.221

16

2.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:42.313

13

3.

Charles Leclerc

PREMA Racing

1:42.372

15

4.

Antonio Fuoco

PREMA Racing

1:42.381

12

5.

Norman Nato

Pertamina Arden

1:42.594

13

6.

Luca Ghiotto

RUSSIAN TIME

1:42.715

14

7.

Nyck De Vries

Rapax

1:43.052

6

8.

Johnny Cecotto

Rapax

1:43.146

16

9.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:43.213

15

10.

Gustav Malja

Racing Engineering

1:43.230

14

11.

Sergio Sette Camara

MP Motorsport

1:43.260

15

12.

Jordan King

MP Motorsport

1:43.265

15

13.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

1:43.232

15

14.

Sean Gelael

Pertamina Arden

1:43.355

13

15.

Ralph Boschung

Campos Racing

1:43.479

12

16.

Stefano Coletti

Campos Racing

1:43.632

16

17.

Nabil Jeffri

Trident

1:43.891

16

18.

Sergio Canamasas

Trident

1:43.958

15

19

Louis Delétraz

Racing Engineering

1:44.016

14

20.

Alexander Albon

ART Grand Prix

1:44.360

15

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