Abu Dhabi F2: Albon tops final practice of 2017

Alexander Albon topped Formula 2 practice in Abu Dhabi, while 2017 champion Charles Leclerc and star newcomer Lando Norris both made low-key starts to the weekend.

Abu Dhabi F2: Albon tops final practice of 2017

Albon replaced his ART Grand Prix teammate Nobuharu Matsushita at the top of the times early on in the 45-minute session and held the top spot until one-third distance.

Norman Nato then usurped Albon to briefly take first place for Arden International but the ART driver moved back to the top spot with the fastest lap of the session – a 1m48.974s – with 20 minutes remaining.

Nato wound up 0.135s adrift in second place, just over 0.1s quicker than Racing Engineering’s McLaren Formula 1 junior Nyck de Vries in third.

Matushita was fourth fastest, ahead of Antonio Fuoco and Oliver Rowland, who had to pit early on, shortly after smoke had streamed from his car as he ran down the long straight ahead of the Turn 8/9 chicane.

Russian Time driver Artem Markelov and Macau Grand Prix star Sergio Sette Camara were seventh and eighth, ahead of Prema Racing's Leclerc.

The Ferrari F1 junior, who can break the all-time GP2/F2 pole position record if he takes the top spot in qualifying later today, looked to be grappling with his car around much of the Yas Marina circuit, sliding out of the slower speed sequence at Turns 11/12/13 during the middle part of the session before locking up and going off-track at Turn 8, taking to the runoff and cutting Turn 9.

Gustav Malja completed the top 10, just ahead of Louis Deletraz and Campos Racing driver Alex Palou.

In the other Campos Racing run-car, Norris finished his first official F2 session in 19th spot, only ahead of Trident driver Nabil Jeffri.

Norris’ best lap was 2.056s slower than Albon’s best and he was over 1.0s adrift of new teammate Palou.

The 2017 F3 champion – who was runner-up in Macau last weekend – also incurred the wrath of Markelov, who dived past Norris at the final corner before gesturing rudely in the Briton’s direction at Turn 1 on the next lap.

Several drivers ahead off-track moments during the session, including de Vries and Nato – who both locked up and ran wide at Turn 1 before carrying on – while Rowland and Albon lost time at the Turns 5/6 chicane in separate incidents with Roberto Merhi and Jeffri.

Practice results

Pos.#DriverTeamLapsTimeGap
1 8 thailand Alexander Albon france ART Grand Prix 16 1'48.974  
2 20 france Norman Nato united_kingdom Arden International 17 1'49.109 0.135
3 3 netherlands Nyck de Vries spain Racing Engineering 18 1'49.211 0.237
4 7 japan Nobuharu Matsushita france ART Grand Prix 17 1'49.243 0.269
5 2 italy Antonio Fuoco italy Prema Powerteam 19 1'49.285 0.311
6 9 united_kingdom Oliver Rowland france DAMS 17 1'49.342 0.368
7 6 russia Artem Markelov russia RUSSIAN TIME 19 1'49.403 0.429
8 14 brazil Sergio Sette Camara netherlands MP Motorsport 17 1'49.560 0.586
9 1 monaco Charles Leclerc italy Prema Powerteam 19 1'49.651 0.677
10 4 sweden Gustav Malja spain Racing Engineering 17 1'49.874 0.900
11 18 switzerland Louis Deletraz italy Rapax 18 1'49.892 0.918
12 12 spain Alex Palou spain Campos Racing 18 1'50.025 1.051
13 5 italy Luca Ghiotto russia RUSSIAN TIME 17 1'50.121 1.147
14 19 spain Roberto Merhi italy Rapax 18 1'50.169 1.195
15 10 canada Nicholas Latifi france DAMS 17 1'50.192 1.218
16 15 united_kingdom Jordan King netherlands MP Motorsport 21 1'50.378 1.404
17 17 united_states Santino Ferrucci italy Trident 20 1'50.436 1.462
18 21 indonesia Sean Gelael united_kingdom Arden International 17 1'50.579 1.605
19 11 united_kingdom Lando Norris spain Campos Racing 17 1'51.030 2.056
20 16 malaysia Nabil Jeffri italy Trident 17 1'51.926 2.952

 

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