Sochi, FP: Norris on top in Sochi Free Practice

British driver beats de Vries by 0.172 seconds

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By Olivier Ferret

28 September 2018 - 13:52
Sochi, FP: Norris on top in Sochi (...)

Lando Norris topped the FIA Formula 2 Championship Free Practice session at Sochi, Russia, moments after participating in Formula 1’s FP1 with the McLaren team. The Carlin driver set a 1:48.231 to set the pace, beating PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing’s Nyck de Vries by just under two tenths of a second. Championship leader George Russell completed the running in third place.

MP Motorsport’s Dorian Boccolacci was first on the road at the commencement of the session, with Sergio Sette Camara and de Vries next to hit the track. Returning to the pits at the end of their first laps, Trident’s Alessio Lorandi set the opening laptime albeit way down on the eventual pace, leaving Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing System) to post the first sub-1m50s lap.

Sette Camara was then next to lead the times, before Alexander Albon put the Brazilian in the shade. The Thai driver’s DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi popped up into second shortly after, but Russell ended the first fifteen minutes with the fastest lap – Sette Camara falling into rank just behind.

Norris then swept to the top of the leaderboard, going almost six tenths faster than Russell who immediately hit back with a pair of purple sectors, before locking up at Turn 13 to put an end to a potential fastest time. To add salt to the wound, de Vries barged his way between the championship top two – but could not overhaul Norris’ best time.

The Dutchman tried to best his lap, but a purple final sector was not enough to overhaul Norris. Sette Camara retained his position behind Russell, as Latifi readjusted from his FP1 outing with Force India to clinch fifth ahead of Monza winner Tadasuke Makino. Jack Aitken and Albon were seventh and eighth, with Italian duo Luca Ghiotto and Antonio Fuoco completing the top 10.

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