F2 Sochi: Norris fastest in practice after McLaren F1 FP1 outing
|By Jack Benyon||Friday, September 28th 2018, 11:10 GMT|
McLaren's 2019 Formula 1 signing Lando Norris began his bid to reel in George Russell in the Formula 2 championship standings in perfect fashion by topping practice at Sochi.
Carlin driver Norris trails Russell by 22 points entering the weekend but had a strong practice session, completing 16 laps at the Russian Grand Prix venue and beating Prema Racing's Nyck de Vries to top the charts with a 1m48.231s best.
Norris was one of three drivers who switched from F1's earlier first practice session - this was Norris's third double-duty service in a row after Spa and Monza - to drive in F2 practice. The McLaren junior previously struggled when switching back to the F2 car, but had no troubles on Friday morning.
De Vries looked set to improve inside the final 10 minutes after a purple first sector, but had an average middle sector and then caught Nicholas Latifi towards the end of his lap.
Russell managed third in a busy session for the Mercedes junior driver. He was on course to beat Norris's time, but locked up dramatically at Turn 13 and ruined his lap.
He later stalled exiting the pitlane. Carlin's Sergio Sette Camara took fourth ahead of Latifi and Monza feature race winner Tadasuke Makino, driving for Russian Time.
Russell's ART Grand Prix team-mate Jack Aitken took seventh ahead of Alexander Albon, who still has a mathematical chance of fighting for the F2 title before he switches to Formula E with the Nissan e.dams squad.
Luca Ghiotto (Campos) and Charouz Racing System's Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco rounded out the top 10, which was separated from top to bottom by just 0.8 seconds.
Niko Kari was fastest of the new drivers in the series this weekend. He has taken Ralph Boschung's place at MP Motorsport, and took 13th.
Ex-MP driver Roberto Merhi could only manage 19th in his first session with Campos this season.
|2||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1m48.403s||0.172s||17|
|3||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1m48.635s||0.404s||17|
|4||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1m48.748s||0.517s||17|
|6||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||1m48.837s||0.606s||16|
|7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1m48.878s||0.647s||18|
|9||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||1m48.977s||0.746s||17|
|10||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1m49.108s||0.877s||18|
|11||Maximilian Gunther||BWT Arden||1m49.243s||1.012s||12|
|12||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1m49.259s||1.028s||15|
|13||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||1m49.352s||1.121s||18|
|14||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1m49.474s||1.243s||15|
|15||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1m49.533s||1.302s||17|
|16||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||1m49.562s||1.331s||12|
|18||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||1m49.681s||1.450s||19|
|19||Roberto Merhi||Campos Vexatec Racing||1m50.130s||1.899s||14|