Hungary F2: Russell tops practice amid more start trouble

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Hungary F2: Russell tops practice amid more start trouble
By: Jack Benyon
Jul 27, 2018, 12:07 PM

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell topped yet another Formula 2 practice session at the Hungaroring, which concluded with the return of the series' ongoing start problems.

Russell set several benchmarks during the session, his final flying lap of 1m28.886s good enough to take his third straight fastest time in an F2 practice.

The championship had switched to rolling starts behind the safety car for the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone due to “safety reasons” as its F2 2018 car has a tricky-to-operate clutch.

F2 acted between Silverstone and Hungary by bringing software updates and a new clutch basket, giving teams 100kms of testing, which equated to around 10 practice starts per driver in the break.

But in the practice starts at the end of today's session, there was still trouble.

Motorsport.com understands that the teams have been told this weekend which software set-up to use should a rolling start be used. The championship and the FIA will now have a decision to make regarding what method to use to start the race.

McLaren junior Nyck de Vries has had an up and down season, but ultimately continued his strong street circuit form from Monaco and Baku by taking second, 0.3s off Russell.

Sergio Sette Camara took third as the lead Carlin, while Luca Ghiotto (Campos) and Alexander Albon (DAMS) rounded out the top five.

Ralph Boschung of MP was faster than his 12th-placed ex-F1 teammate Roberto Merhi, taking sixth ahead of Nisei Fukuzumi. The Honda junior stalled in the pits during the practice starts.

Lando Norris couldn’t match fellow Carlin driver Sette Camara and took eighth ahead of Russell's ART squadmate Jack Aitken, who won from pole at this circuit in GP3 last year.

Artem Markelov had two lock-ups, and a sideways moment trying to drive around Roy Nissany, all at Turn 1, but ultimately managed to get his Russian Time machine into the top 10.

The session was delayed by an unusual crash for Honda protege and Markelov’s Russian Time teammate Tadasuke Makino. His car speared into the barriers at Turn 3, an unlikely place to crash, with 35 minutes to go in the session.

Session results

Cla#DriverTeamLapsTimeGap
1 8 united_kingdom George Russell france ART Grand Prix 14 1'28.886  
2 4 netherlands Nyck de Vries italy Prema Powerteam 13 1'29.188 0.302
3 18 brazil Sergio Sette Camara united_kingdom Carlin 16 1'29.269 0.383
4 14 italy Luca Ghiotto spain Campos Racing 15 1'29.333 0.447
5 5 thailand Alexander Albon france DAMS 14 1'29.337 0.451
6 10 switzerland Ralph Boschung netherlands MP Motorsport 11 1'29.390 0.504
7 12 japan Nirei Fukuzumi united_kingdom Arden International 13 1'29.441 0.555
8 19 united_kingdom Lando Norris united_kingdom Carlin 14 1'29.478 0.592
9 7 united_kingdom Jack Aitken france ART Grand Prix 14 1'29.534 0.648
10 1 russia Artem Markelov russia RUSSIAN TIME 15 1'29.555 0.669
11 6 canada Nicholas Latifi france DAMS 13 1'29.566 0.680
12 9 spain Roberto Merhi netherlands MP Motorsport 15 1'29.636 0.750
13 20 switzerland Louis Deletraz czech_republic Charouz Racing System 17 1'29.862 0.976
14 11 germany Maximilian Gunther united_kingdom Arden International 15 1'29.926 1.040
15 21 italy Antonio Fuoco czech_republic Charouz Racing System 15 1'30.053 1.167
16 16 india Arjun Maini italy Trident 18 1'30.103 1.217
17 15 israel Roy Nissany spain Campos Racing 14 1'30.113 1.227
18 17 italy Alessio Lorandi italy Trident 16 1'30.573 1.687
19 3 indonesia Sean Gelael italy Prema Powerteam 15 1'30.574 1.688
20 2 japan Tadasuke Makino russia RUSSIAN TIME 4 1'31.072 2.186
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