Ralph Boschung got his return to the 2022 Formula 2 season off to a positive start, as the Campos Racing driver topped Free Practice around Spa-Francorchamps. The weather proved to be a major headache with rainfall around the Belgian countryside catching a few drivers out, but it was the Swiss driver who managed to clock in a 2:01.376 finish ahead of Amaury Cordeel and Ayumu Iwasa.
Grey skies and drizzle greeted the 22-car grid, and the conditions posed a dilemma for the teams with lock ups and a lack of grip on the yellow-walled medium tyres during their reconnaissance laps leaving all but three cars opting to sit tight in the pit lane.
After 20 minutes of relative quiet out on track, a flurry of action resumed with the whole field heading out. Iwasa became the first driver to set a representative time, his 2:01.546 effort more than half a second quicker than Marino Sato’s early benchmark.
Flourishing in these conditions, the DAMS driver set out to better his time by 0.742s after the first two sectors, but his efforts weren’t to last. Fighting the car through Stavelot ended in a huge spin through the gravel to bring out the Red Flag, moments after Boschung laid down the fastest lap of the session.
The session resumed with just over eight minutes to go, and it was rush hour around the Belgian circuit’s 19 turns. Unfortunately, as the rain continued to fall both Enzo Fittipaldi and David Beckmann found themselves going off in separate incidents at Turn 1. This brought out yet another Red Flag and the session was not resumed with six minutes left on the clock.
Marcus Armstrong ended his morning’s running in fourth ahead of Lirim Zendeli, Logan Sargeant, Jehan Daruvala. David Beckmann made it two Van Amersfoort Racing cars in the top eight ahead of Sato and Jüri Vips, who rounded out the top 10.
With the field unable to set their ideal representative laps, there’ll be plenty of unknowns to keep an eye out on when Formula 2 Qualifying gets underway at 18:30 local time.