Victor Martins

F2: Martins fastest at Yas Marina from Maloney and Pourchaire

Victor Martins left it until the last minute but was the man to beat in the final Free Practice of the 2023 Formula 2 season. The ART Grand Prix driver ended the first session of the weekend on top after setting a 1:37.389 to head the pack.

Victor Martins

Zane Maloney put Rodin Carlin second with a late effort of his own while Théo Pourchaire kicked off a potentially title-winning weekend as third quickest. Title rivals Ayumu Iwasa and Frederik Vesti finished seventh and ninth respectively.

Newcomers Paul Aron and Franco Colapinto were on track early to get some mileage under their belts ahead of their F2 racing debuts. The latter suffered a spin coming through the right-hander of Turn 11 in the early running but was able to avoid the barriers and continue on his way.

Roy Nissany led after the opening 10 minutes of Practice, setting a 1:39.844 to head the field for PHM Racing.

After a relatively quiet start to the session, the circuit filled up quickly approaching half an hour remaining as the majority of the field headed onto track. Nissany lowered the time to beat to a 1:38.492 on his next flying lap to lead by 0.6s from Maloney.

The Red Flags were out soon after as Arthur Leclerc came to a halt in his DAMS between Turns 1 and 2.

Back underway with 17 minutes remaining, the pitlane emptied out once again. Jack Doohan briefly went to P1 before his time was beaten in quick succession. Pourchaire was pipped by teammate Martins by 0.022s, with the rookie setting a 1:38.219 to take the top spot from the Championship leader.

Doohan was next to better the top time, but Iwasa became the first driver into the 1:37s almost immediately afterwards, going fastest of all with a 1:37.892.

Pourchaire went back to the top with a 1:37.734 to retake P1. Richard Verschoor also bettered Iwasa’s earlier effort, slotting into P2 for Van Amersfoort Racing, 0.143s down on Pourchaire’s time.

Martins had one final improvement left in the tires to retake first from Pourchaire by three tenths of a second. Doohan too had life in his medium tires to go quicker but finished his best lap 0.2s off the benchmark time.

Maloney and Pourchaire both improved their personal best times to go second and third respectively at the checkered flag, with Doohan finishing fourth and Verschoor in P5.

Ralph Boschung was sixth-fastest ahead of Iwasa, VAR’s Juan Manuel Correa, Vesti and Alpine junior Kush Maini, who ensured two top 10 finishes for Campos Racing.

Qualifying is set to get underway at 15:00 local time at Yas Marina Circuit.

Formula 2 Abu Dhabi Practice Results

Pos Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m37.389 +0.000 14
2 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m37.597 +0.208 15
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m37.608 +0.218 14
4 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m37.613 +0.224 14
5 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 1m37.644 +0.255 14
6 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m37.873 +0.484 14
7 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m37.874 +0.485 14
8 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 1m37.933 +0.544 14
9 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m38.025 +0.636 13
10 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m38.054 +0.665 14
11 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m38.113 +0.724 14
12 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m38.278 +0.889 12
13 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m38.325 +0.936 14
14 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m38.443 +1.054 15
15 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m38.492 +1.103 19
16 Roman Stanek Trident 1m38.637 +1.248 17
17 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m38.662 +1.273 13
18 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi 1m38.674 +1.285 14
19 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m39.044 +1.655 15
20 Paul Aron Trident 1m39.189 +1.800 18
21 Josh Mason PHM by Charouz 1m40.853 +3.464 18
22 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m50.200 +12.811 5
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