Bortolotti ahead in first Monza practice
Mirko Bortolotti headed the timesheets during today's (Friday) opening practice session for rounds 13 and 14 of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Monza.
The 21-year-old title leader looked quick throughout the 45-minute session posting a best time of 1:40.814s - 0.231s ahead of his nearest rival Mihai Marinescu. Swiss driver Christopher Zanella finished third with Miki Monras fourth and Brit Alex Brundle rounding out the top five.
Drivers were greeted with dry, sunny conditions for the start of the first of the day's two practice sessions, with the 500bhp F2 cars carrying new low-downforce packages for the high-speed straights of the 5.793km Italian circuit.
Romanian driver Marinescu began the session brightly setting the early pace with drivers hitting top speeds of around 285kph (177 mph). On home soil, Bortolotti soon demonstrated his outright pace by going top with 20 minutes to go and remaining there until the checkered flag.
German Thiemo Storz impressed to go sixth quickest overall with three-time race winner Ramon Pineiro seventh and Dutchman Kelvin Snoeks lying eighth. British driver Jack Clarke and Frenchman Benjamin Lariche completed the top 10.
Today's second free practice session gets underway at 15:35 (local) time with full coverage on the official F2 website.
Results: Monza - Free practice one:
1. Mirko Bortolotti, 1:40.814s
2. Mihai Marinescu, +0.231s
3. Christopher Zanella, +0.398s
4. Miki Monras, +0.573s
5. Alex Brundle, +0.736s
6. Thiemo Storz, +0.792s
7. Ramon Pineiro, +0.986s
8. Kelvin Snoeks, +1.245s
9. Jack Clarke, +1.405s
10. Benjamin Lariche, +1.469s