Monaco, FP: Sirotkin tops free practice in Monte Carlo

ART Grand Prix ace quickest in incident-filled session

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By Olivier Ferret

26 May 2016 - 13:25
Monaco, FP: Sirotkin tops free (...)

Russian ace Sergey Sirotkin set the best laptime in today’s free practice at Monte Carlo with a 1:20.361 in an eventful session. Barcelona race winners Norman Nato and Alex Lynn completed the top three – one tenth slower than Sirotkin.

It was Nato who set the early pace, but Sirotkin was able to improve on the Racing Engineering driver’s laptime to claim P1 in the opening stages. It didn’t last long though as Series leader Pierre Gasly dipped under 1m21s on the ten minute mark, but the PREMA racer had a bit of over-steer coming into St Devote which sent him wide. He clipped the barrier heavily damaging his car in the process. The Virtual Safety car was deployed as the marshals recovered Gasly’s machine.

Only seconds after the proceedings were re-started, Nobuharu Matsushita locked up at Turn 1 and went straight into the barrier, thus effectively ending his session. Once the track was cleared, Sirotkin found some extra pace to claim P1 again, clocking in a laptime one tenth quicker than Gasly’s.

There was more drama after Danïel de Jong also locked up at St Devote and put the Tecpro barrier to good use. The marshals recovered the Dutchman’s car and the session was live again. Jordan King went quickest with a laptime of 1:20.735 but Sirotkin went three tenths better to reclaim the top spot.

Nato and Lynn tried their hardest to beat the Russian’s time but had to settle for P2 and P3 respectively. At the chequered flag, Arthur Pic finished P4 ahead of King, Mitch Evans, Gasly, Raffaele Marciello, Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.

With the top ten drivers running within the same second, no one can predict which driver will claim pole position later today. The qualifying session will be divided into two groups with Group A made up of odd numbered cars and taking to the track first at 16.15.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 1:20.361 22
2. Norman Nato Racing Engineering 1:20.440 22
3. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:20.471 24
4. Arthur Pic Rapax 1:20.666 22
5. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:20.735 25
6. Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1:20.825 26
7. Pierre Gasly PREMA Racing 1:20.959 7
8. Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 1:21.001 23
9. Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1:21.039 22
10. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:21.221 23
11. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:21.424 24
12. Sergio Canamasas Carlin 1:21.483 23
13. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:21.652 26
14. Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 1:21.954 26
15. Antonio Giovinazzi PREMA Racing 1:22.023 25
16. Marvin Kirchhöfer Carlin 1:22.212 22
17. Gustav Malja Rapax 1:22.392 24
18. Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 1:22.473 9
19. Nabil Jeffri Arden International 1:23.210 24
20. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:23.867 9
21. Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 1:23.979 24
22. Philo Paz Armand Trident 1:24.024 24

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