Leclerc tops free practice in Barcelona

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has topped this morning’s free practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, setting the pace early on to grab the top spot despite close pressure in a busy session from Alexander Albon and Sergio Sette Camara.

The Ferrari Driver Academy man topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:29.974 a third of the way through the session, making the most of the warm and sunny conditions to grab P1 by just 0.042s from the Thai driver, reigniting last year’s GP3 title fight as the pair looked towards this afternoon’s vital qualifying session.

With the session opening under glorious conditions the teams wasted no time in getting their drivers on track, looking for any new information they could glean at a circuit where small margins will make a substantial difference, given the amount of testing time at the track they all have under their belts.

The Rapax pair of Johnny Cecotto and Nyck De Vries set the early pace, soon to be dispossessed by Nobuharu Matsushita and Artem Markelov, but when Albon set the pace in sectors 1 and 2 for the top time it looked like he had claimed the honors. But Leclerc grabbed them away a few minutes later with a clean lap of his own: the Monegasque driver didn’t top any sectors, but was close in the first 2 sectors and faster than the ART driver in the final one to nab the glory, with the remainder of the session assigned to race simulation work.

Behind the top three Jordan King, Louis Deletraz, Markelov, De Vries and Norman Nato were all within a second of the top spot and will be looking for more in this afternoon’s qualifying session, to be run in a just a few hours’ time.

Free Practice Provisional Classification

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Charles Leclerc

PREMA Racing

1:29.974

16

2.

Alexander Albon

ART Grand Prix

1:30.016

21

3.

Sergio Sette Camara

MP Motorsport

1:30.484

17

4.

Jordan King

MP Motorsport

1:30.599

19

5.

Louis Deletraz

Racing Engineering

1:30.644

17

6.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:30.843

16

7.

Nyck De Vries

Rapax

1:30.882

21

8.

Norman Nato

Pertamina Arden

1:30.886

19

9.

Luca Ghiotto

RUSSIAN TIME

1:31.043

15

10.

Sergio Canamasas

Trident

1:31.086

19

11.

Oliver Rowland

DAMS

1:31.094

16

12.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:31.157

21

13.

Ralph Boschung

Campos Racing

1:31.355

16

14.

Sean Gelael

Pertamina Arden

1:31.355

17

15.

Johnny Cecotto

Rapax

1:31.394

09

16.

Roberto Merhi

Campos Racing

1:31.444

20

17.

Gustav Malja

Racing Engineering

1:31.560

18

18.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

1:31.600

18

19.

Antonio Fuoco

PREMA Racing

1:32.845

17

20.

Nabil Jeffri

Trident

1:32.989

12

Leave a Reply