Drugovich tops final day of F2 Barcelona test

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UNI-Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich was the only driver to break the 1m 28s barrier in the second Formula 2 test of the season at Barcelona, setting the time in the morning to cap off a fine three-day stint in Spain for the Brazilian. The 20-year-old finished 0.190s ahead of Round 1 winner Oscar Piastri with PREMA Racing, while ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard ran third.

The morning session

The final morning in Barcelona wasn’t quite as bright as the second day, with dark clouds hanging over the circuit, and even a spot of rain towards the end of the first session.

The field all headed out at the earliest opportunity and got a feel for the tarmac, before switching to their final set of medium Pirellis around the hour mark.

There was a brief stoppage as HWA RACELAB’s Alessio Deledda spun at the first turn and brought out a red flag, but action soon resumed, with Drugovich taking control. The Virtuosi racer broke the 1m 28s barrier for the first time in Barcelona, lapping at 1:27.945 once he had
made the switch to mediums.

Lundgaard and MP Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli were the next to follow suit, undertaking a qualifying simulation of their own, but neither could quite nail all three sectors. Lundgaard lost out in the first and Zendeli in the third, putting them P2 and P4.

PREMA sent Piastri out on fresh mediums and the Australian driver delivered the second fastest time of the morning to push Lundgaard down to P3, lapping just 0.190s off Drugovich. Hitech also sent their Red Bull junior pairing, Liam Lawson and Jüri Vips, out there on the same tyres, with the duo nestling into fourth and fifth.

Lundgaard’s ART teammate Théo Pourchaire impressed with the sixth quickest tour of the morning, only five tenths off the leading pace. Robert Shwartzman took seventh in the second PREMA, ahead of Bent Viscaal and Zendeli, who had fallen to P9.

The second Virtuosi completed the top 10, with Guanyu Zhou running ninth, 0.810s off his teammate. There was a slightly premature end to the session, as Carlin Racing’s Jehan Daruvala came to a halt at Turn 11 in the final minute.

Afternoon session

The sun returned for the final afternoon of the Barcelona test, just in time for a series of long- runs, with HWA RACELAB duo Matteo Nannini and Deledda setting the benchmark times, leading the charts with 1:30.346 and 1:32.183.

There was a brief stoppage in the opening hour as Lawson tagged the wall at Turn 5. The Kiwi did manage to get back out there, but then came to a halt between Turns 8 and 9 with 15 minutes to go. Despite the stoppages, the Hitech racer still managed to set the ninth fastest time of the final stint.

There was also a third Red Flag of the afternoon for Verschoor, who stopped at the start of Turn 7. When action resumed, Trident pairing Viscaal and Marino Sato started the climb to leaderboard, firing into third and fourth, before improving to second and third, pushing Deledda down to P4.

Viscaal continued to improve and leapfrogged Nannini in the final hour, with a tour of 1:30.280. DAMS duo Marcus Armstrong and Roy Nissany slid into fifth and seventh, either side of Zendeli.

Shwartzman was behind them in eighth, with the Russian’s PREMA teammate, Piastri, two places further back in 10th
Drugovich will aim to carry his form over into the second round of the season at Monaco, which takes place in just under a month, 20-22 May.