De Vries leads the way in Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice

Nyck de Vries
Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries rocketed to the top of the Free Practice standings in the FIA Formula 2 Championship round at Belgium, firing in a 1:58.125 to secure the fastest lap time of the session. The PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing driver beat Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara by just one hundredth of a second, as championship leader George Russell secured third for ART Grand Prix.

The session commenced under overcast conditions, and ART’s Jack Aitken was first to hit the road – followed by Maximilian Gunther (BWT Arden) and Lando Norris (Carlin), the latter of whom had just completed a Free Practice session for the McLaren F1 Team. Aitken posted the first timed lap and, while Sette Camara quickly delved five seconds below the benchmark time, the Brit immediately became the first to venture into the sub-2 minute laptimes.

Norris then beat his compatriot by almost half a second, before his teammate Sette Camara blasted his way to the top of the timing boards with a 1:58.135 – with Russell improving to split the Carlin duo. It was then the turn of de Vries to occupy top spot, and shaved 0.01s off of Sette Camara’s then-headline time to conclude the opening ten minutes of the session.

At the end of the first quarter of an hour, the majority of the field spilled into the pits to brace themselves for a set of race pace simulations. As a result, very little change in the order was seen throughout the session, save for a few improvements lower down the timing boards. Attempting to better his time in the dying moments of the session, de Vries beat his personal best first sector before an errant moment on the exit of turn 11 put paid to any further improvement.

Nevertheless, de Vries remained in control of the session, giving the traveling Dutch fans plenty to smile about as Sette Camara and Russell beat Norris to top-three placings. Ralph Boschung (MP Motorsport) secured fifth spot ahead of Campos Vexatec Racing’s Luca Ghiotto, as Antonio Fuoco (Charouz Racing System) occupied seventh. Alexander Albon (DAMS), Gunther and Aitken completed the top 10.

Results

Pos DRIVER TEAM TIME LAPS
1 Nyck de Vries PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing 1:58.125 13
2 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1:58.135 16
3 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:58.600 17
4 Lando Norris Carlin 1:58.779 16
5 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1:58.794 15
6 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 1:58.840 17
7 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1:58.873 16
8 Alexander Albon DAMS 1:59.104 15
9 Maximilian Günther BWT Arden 1:59.147 16
10 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:59.186 17
11 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:59.241 15
12 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:59.339 16
13 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1:59.448 16
14 Sean Gelael PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing 1:59.458 15
15 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport 1:59.490 15
16 Arjun Maini Trident 1:59.643 16
17 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1:59.757 15
18 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 2:00.360 13
19 Alessio Lorandi Trident 2:00.793 17
20 Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 2:00.816 15

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