Bahrain F2: Maini tops first practice of 2018
Haas Formula 1 junior Arjun Maini beat Lando Norris by 0.051s in the practice session for the Formula 2 season opener in Bahrain.
Trident driver Maini missed the first half of the session, but was fifth after his first flying lap and subsequently jumped into the lead with 16 minutes left on the clock.
He beat Norris by 0.051s, the McLaren junior leading a Carlin 1-2 before he was demoted by Maini.
Norris's teammate Sergio Sette Camara still ended up third, just over a tenth of a second adrift Maini.
DAMS driver Alex Albon, who is only confirmed to race in Bahrain for now, was fourth, closely followed by reigning GP3 champion George Russell (ART Grand Prix).
Artem Markelov (Russian Time) was another driver not to have a representative laptime in the first half of the session, but a late improvement promoted the 2017 runner-up move to sixth.
Ex-F1 driver Roberto Merhi was seventh for MP Motorsport, narrowly beating F3 graduate Maximilian Gunther (Arden) and Antonio Fuoco (Charouz), who went off track on a couple of occasions.
The top 10 was completed by Sean Gelael, who was the faster of the two Prema drivers as Nyck de Vries was only 13th.
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1'44.653||0.104|
|5||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1'44.812||0.263|
|6||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1'44.861||0.312|
|7||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1'45.005||0.456|
|8||Maximilian Gunther||BWT Arden||1'45.010||0.461|
|9||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1'45.080||0.531|
|10||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1'45.214||0.665|
|11||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1'45.268||0.719|
|13||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1'45.329||0.780|
|14||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||1'45.331||0.782|
|15||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||1'45.344||0.795|
|17||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1'45.564||1.015|
|18||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||1'45.849||1.300|
|19||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1'45.958||1.409|
|20||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||1'46.407||1.858|
Who will prevail in the battle of F1 reserve drivers?
Maini to focus on consistency in rookie F2 season