Spa, FP: Vandoorne tops Spa free practice

McLaren F1 tester quickest in opening session

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By Olivier Ferret

21 August 2015 - 13:05
Spa, FP: Vandoorne tops Spa free (...)

GP2 Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne came back from the summer break on top form: the Belgian ace set the fastest laptime in today’s free practice session on home soil at Spa-Francorchamps. He was one tenth quicker than Mitch Evans. Alexander Rossi completed the top three.

The session opened in warm and sunny conditions as the twenty-five cars fed onto the track, and with the drivers eager to come to grips with the long Belgian circuit. Sergey Sirotkin was the man who set the early pace, but Rossi was able to improve on the Russian’s laptime to go top. Vandoorne however was on a mission: he became the first driver to dip under 1m58s to claim P1. Rossi was next, but his efforts were not enough to better the Belgian’s performance.

Evans also broke the 1m58s barrier to move up to P2 whilst Vandoorne found some extra pace to go one hundredth faster than his own best laptime. He then sat pretty at the top until the chequered flag. No driver from the top ten improved on their second set of tyres giving the opportunity to Pierre Gasly to move up to sixth in the closing stages pushing down countryman Norman Nato from tenth to eleventh place.

With Vandoorne, Evans and Rossi completing the top 3, Alex Lynn had to settle for fourth ahead of returnee Oliver Rowland, Gasly, Sirotkin, Arthur Pic (who went a bit wide on his final lap and clipped the barrier), Jordan King and Raffaele Marciello.

The weather is not expected to change for today’s qualifying session and Vandoorne will be the man to beat as he will try and please his home crowd with a fourth pole position this season.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:57.486 17
2. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:57.640 16
3. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:57.731 15
4. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:57.833 17
5. Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1:57.841 16
6. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:57.871 17
7. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:58.108 16
8. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:58.141 13
9. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:58.188 15
10. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:58.231 15
11. Norman Nato Arden International 1:58.249 16
12. Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1:58.343 15
13. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:58.446 15
14. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:58.463 16
15. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:58.496 17
16. André Negrao Arden International 1:58.744 16
17. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:58.822 13
18. Nathanaël Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1:58.866 16
19. Julian Leal Carlin 1:58.884 15
20. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:59.202 15
21. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:59.209 19
22. Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1:59.232 16
23. Robert Visoiu Rapax 1:59.610 17
24. Sean Gelael Carlin 2:00.683 16
25. Gustav Laja Trident 2:01.194 7

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