Sirotkin leads the way in Spa-Francorchamps

Sergey Sirotkin came back from the summer break in fine form: the ART Grand Prix ace set the fastest laptime in today’s Free Practice session at Spa-Francorchamps in a 1:58.828, just 0.22s ahead of his closest rival Pierre Gasly. Norman Nato took third spot.

The eighth round of the 2016 GP2 season opened under blue skies and in hot temperatures as the twenty-two cars fed onto the track trying to warm up their Pirelli Hard compounds. It was DAMS’ Alex Lynn who set the early pace but rookie Antonio Giovinazzi was able to improve on the Briton’s laptime and was the first man to break the 2m barrier. However, the Italian’s laptime was soon bettered by his teammate Gasly who went top in a 1:59.050.

With ten minutes down into the session, Artem Markelov found some extra pace to lap the Belgian track in a 1:59.263 but it was not enough to edge Gasly out of the top spot. On a busy track, the Renault F1 Test driver still managed to find enough clear space to clock in a laptime of 1:58.828 and put his ART car at the top of the standings. Halfway through the session, the cars returned to the pits for some fresh rubber but after the action resumed nobody was able to improve on Sirotkin’s laptime and the Russian driver ended the trouble-free session on top.

Gasly and Norman Nato completed the top three whilst Jordan King finished fourth ahead of Markelov, Giovinazzi, Raffaele Marciello, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Luca Ghiotto and Nobuharu Matsushita, all of whom will be surely looking to close the gap to the Russian in this afternoon’s hot Qualifying session.

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – Free Practice

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Sergey Sirotkin

ART Grand Prix

1:58.828

12

2.

Pierre Gasly

PREMA Racing

1:59.050

16

3.

Norman Nato

Racing Engineering

1:59.194

16

4.

Jordan King

Racing Engineering

1:59.228

15

5.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:59.263

13

6.

Antonio Giovinazzi

PREMA Racing

1:59.358

16

7.

Raffaele Marciello

RUSSIAN TIME

1:59.458

14

8.

Marvin Kirchhöfer

Carlin

1:59.479

16

9.

Luca Ghiotto

Trident

1:59.559

15

10.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:59.607

17

11.

Oliver Rowland

MP Motorsport

1:59.634

14

12.

Alex Lynn

DAMS

1:59.782

15

13.

Gustav Malja

Rapax

1:59.787

18

14.

Arthur Pic

Rapax

1:59.883

16

15.

Daniel de Jong

MP Motorsport

2:00.047

13

16.

Sergio Canamasas

Carlin

2:00.084

14

17.

Mitch Evans

Pertamina Campos Racing

2:00.119

12

18.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

2:00.369

16

19

Sean Gelael

Pertamina Campos Racing

2:00.703

15

20.

Philo Paz Armand

Trident

2:01.590

16

21.

Nabil Jeffri

Arden International

2:01.743

8

22.

Jimmy Eriksson

Arden International

2:02.573

15

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