Returning to the track where he secured back-to-back pole positions in Formula 3 in 2020, Logan Sargeant once again laid down the gauntlet for his rivals in the opening Formula 2 Free Practice session at Silverstone.
The Carlin driver narrowly leaped ahead of Championship leader Felipe Drugovich, setting a 1:40.902 to go 0.037s clear. In the running for the top spot throughout the session, Jack Doohan will be content with third. However, executing the perfect lap at the British circuit proved to be easier said than done.
Silverstone is a formidable challenge for even the most experienced of drivers and both the rookies and returning stars set out to find the limit early on. Enzo Fittipaldi became the first driver to set a representative time with a 1:44.411, despite the Brazilian driver sliding into Copse corner.
Dennis Hauger also had a nervous moment of his own with a major spin at Abbey, one of the quickest corners on the 5.891km track. Thankfully for the PREMA Racing driver, he managed to save it and avoid the barriers.
On the timing sheets, title frontrunner Drugovich traded the top spot with Doohan. The MP Motorsport driver initially went quickest with a 1:42.852 before the Australian leapfrogged him. However, Drugovich soon returned the favour, clocking in a 1:41.552 to nip ahead of him by 0.011s.
Despite the summer slot, the British weather always manages to throw up some surprises. As the session approached the halfway mark, spots of rain began to appear, adding another element of unpredictability to the drivers’ running. That didn’t stop Sargeant breaking into the 1:40s and slotting his Carlin into P1. Times weren’t the only thing dropping as track temperatures fell to around 24°C.
Running ground to a halt with just under 16 minutes remaining of the 45-minute session, as Calan Williams found the barriers at the exit of Copse – losing the Trident’s rear-end at the mid-corner and bringing out the red flag. Heading back to the pits, seven teams found themselves sitting inside the top 10.
A queue of cars were eager to head out the moment the lights went green with seven minutes to go. An improvement for Sargeant was enough for the American to solidify his hold on the top spot as the session concluded under red flag conditions after Virtuosi’s Marino Sato came to a halt at Luffield with three minutes remaining.
Drugovich was another last-second improvement before the red flag, narrowly missing out on the top spot by 0.037s. Doohan secured third ahead of DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa. Over two-tenths down on the American driver’s leading time, Pourchaire ended the session fifth. Liam Lawson was sixth, as Roy Nissany made it two DAMS inside the top seven. Jehan Daruvala was eighth and Jüri Vips and Marcus Armstrong rounded out the top ten for Hitech.