Although this morning’s session was only a free practice, Arthur Leclerc ended the morning 351 thousandths of a second faster than Patrick Pasma in an excellent 2nd place. Leclerc (Prema Powerteam) stopped the clocks with an extraordinary 1:58.059, just ahead of Pasma (KIC Motorsport) in 1:58.410 with Pierre-Loius Chovet (Van Amersfoort Racing), who is hoping ofr a good home result in 3rd, so close to the Finn with a time of 1:58.480.
On a blisteringly hot track, with air temperatures in the low 30s, and the Tarmac at an extreme 50°C, the drivers investigated the circuit fully in the first half of FP2 before mounting new tyres and to run qualifying simulations. It’s expected that these will point the way to qualifying at 17:54 local time this afternoon, although the slightly cooler temperatures expected then could change the nature of the track.
There’s a new entry among the drivers with the arrival of the experienced Argentine driver, 28-year-old Facundo Regalía (Van Amersfoort Racing), who finished in eighth position on his debut in the championship, 941 thousandths off Leclerc. “Facu” raced in karting, and took two excellent second places in GP3 Series in 2013 and Auto GP in 2015.