It was Victor Martins who ended up fastest of all around the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Free Practice. The ART Grand Prix went quicker and quicker throughout the session to lead the way by over two tenths. Ayumu Iwasa was second for DAMS, narrowly ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor, who moved inside the top three late on.
MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger set the benchmark to beat in the opening minutes of Practice, but he lost his 1:35.012 after exceeding track limits on the exit of the Ascari chicane. Next time around his lap stuck though, lowering the time to beat to a 1:34.611. Teammate Jehan Daruvala made it an early MP 1-2, just 0.019s down on the Norwegian.
On the next round of laps, Roman Stanek put home team Trident on top with a 1:34.188 but he was quickly replaced by Oliver Bearman, as the PREMA Racing driver set a 1:33.714 to go fastest of all. Martins popped up to second for ART Grand Prix, some 0.069s down on the Briton with DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc just another 0.007s further back in third.
Martins found an improvement on his next lap, going clear at the top with a 1:33.462. PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roy Nissany was also able to better Bearman’s earlier effort to go second until Théo Pourchaire and Verschoor went second and third fastest respectively.
Once again though, Martins was able to find more laptime, lowering the time to beat with a 1:33.165 with just over 20 minutes left of Practice.
Iwasa moved his DAMS up to second with just over 10 minutes to go, 0.279s down on the quickest time. Zane Maloney was another to improve late on, with the Rodin Carlin driver rising up to fourth and to within half a second of Martins’ effort. Verschoor moved back inside the top three with just over five minutes to go in his #22 VAR car.
Hauger was set to improve his personal best until he caught the gravel on the exit of the final corner. A spin and stall left him stranded and brought out the Red Flags with little over two minutes remaining. With such little time left of the session, Practice was not resumed.
It left Martins quickest of all ahead of Iwasa and Verschoor. Pourchaire made it two ARTs in the top five in P4 ahead of Maloney in fifth. Nissany ended up sixth ahead of Jak Crawford, Bearman, Isack Hadjar and Kush Maini inside the top 10.
Formula 2 Qualifying at Monza is set to get underway at 16:00 local time.