Paul Aron is very pleased with his and Hitech Pulse-Eight's team work so far after he set the quickest time in this morning’s Free Practice session in Imola.

The Estonian set a 1:28.852 late on to pip Invicta Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto to the top spot. After stepping out of the car, Aron said that it had been a tough but important session ahead of Qualifying.

“To be honest, it was a really, really, really difficult session because it's a really bumpy track. There's a lot of kerbs that can and can’t be used so there's different lines and there's different kinds of driving styles.

“You never really know which one is the best, and obviously this car hasn't raced here. The only other car I drove here was a Regional and Formula 4 one, and those cars have a lot less aerodynamics, so you can run over the kerbs a lot more.

“It was interesting driving with this car because some lines are different, and the approach has to be different as the car has a lot of downforce and any kerb will fluctuate the downforce levels as the car is bouncing. So, it was a really interesting session, but obviously the times speak for themselves.”

"The car I have underneath me is pretty good. It's great to see after testing we made another step forward and we are amongst the top teams"

Aron kept himself very busy during the break following Melbourne, with racing exploits elsewhere keeping him sharp alongside Formula 2 in-season testing in Barcelona. He and teammate Amaury Cordeel showed promising speed as Hitech appear to be continuing their strong start to the campaign around Imola.

While he ended the morning on top, Aron did temper expectations heading into Qualifying, even if the aim remains of taking pole and the two points that come with it.

“It was really great to be back in a Formula 2 car. I had a bit of a side mission and it's great to be back in this paddock in this race format, racing Formula 2 cars and that was a very successful session.

Arons impressive opening to the F2 season means he is second in the Drivers Championship coming into Round 4
Aron's impressive opening to the F2 season means he is second in the Drivers' Championship coming into Round 4

“It's only practice though. In Melbourne, I was quite far off in Practice and then in Qualifying I was fighting for pole position, so it can go either way. It was definitely a good start but with Qualifying being on a completely different tyre, we can't be too happy yet and the job will only be finished after Qualifying.”

It has been quite the start to life in Formula 2 for Aron so far, with the rookie earning three podium finishes in the opening three race weekends of the year.

Aron says that he has had no problems getting himself up to speed after graduating from F3 and that his adaptability has been on show in the opening races of the campaign.

He also points to his enjoyment at the wheel as another crucial factor that has allowed him to be so competitive from the off.

PRACTICE: Aron leads the way in Imola for Hitech Pulse-Eight

“It’s important to hit the ground running, but to be honest, I was never worried about that. I’ve always been quite good at adapting to new cars and being up to speed straightaway, so it was never really a concern for me, but it's obviously nice to see that.

“We topped the times, and we were there from the beginning. We're happy for that and then it proves that the car I have underneath me is pretty good. It's great to see after three days of testing in Barcelona that we made another step forward and we are still amongst the top teams in the paddock.

“After topping Practice, I would love to be up there again at the end of Qualifying, but I think that's not really the approach I should take because so far, the beginning of the year I've just done what I do best and that's fast.

“That approach has worked really well, I’ve felt no pressure at all and I've really, really enjoyed the beginning of the season. It's been my most enjoyable season ever because I've just approached it with no expectation, just enjoyed my time and I had fun out there. I’ll go into Qualifying with the same approach.”