Monza F2: Markelov leads teammate Ghiotto in practice

Russian Time drivers Artem Markelov and Luca Ghiotto topped the Formula 2 practice at Monza ahead of championship leader Charles Leclerc.

Monza F2: Markelov leads teammate Ghiotto in practice

ART Grand Prix and McLaren-Honda Formula 1 junior drivers Nobuharu Matsushita and Nyck de Vries completed the top five, ahead of Leclerc’s closest title rival Oliver Rowland, who was sixth.

The 45-minute session got underway with spots of rain falling at the northern Italian circuit, but the drivers were able to complete their running on the dry medium compound Pirelli tyres, with the sun later emerging and temperatures rising.

Matsushita topped the early times despite nearly running off-track going through the second part of the Ascari chicane as he fought oversteer – a problem that plagued several drivers throughout the session.

Leclerc bounced across the kerbs at the exit of the Roggia chicane on his first run but could only slot into third behind Matsushita and de Vries.

The Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver, who leads Rowland by 54 points with just three rounds of the season remaining, held two massive slides going through Ascari on his next run and could not get his Prema-run car to the top of the standings.

Markelov moved to the head of the timesheets after one-third of the session had been completed with a 1m31.128s lap that was not beaten.

Leclerc responded with a purple sector in the first part of the lap but wound up 0.239s adrift of Markelov, who enters the weekend third in the standings nine points behind Rowland, before Ghiotto slotted in ahead of the Monegasque driver in second place.

After the traditional mid-session lull in activity, the drivers focused on long-run data gathering and there were few improvements thereafter.

Rowland was another driver fighting his car going through Ascari – he also went through the Parabolica with all four wheels off the track at one stage – and ended up sixth, 0.386s behind Markelov, for DAMS.

Alexander Albon briefly topped the times during the early running but finished seventh for ART, ahead of Jordan King and Louis Deletraz.

Antonio Fuoco rounded out the top 10 for Prema, the Ferrari F1 junior escaping the gravel at the first Lesmo after getting a snap of oversteer going through the right-hander.

Norman Nato ended up 11th in front of Ralph Boschung, Nicholas Latifi in the second DAMS-run car, Gustav Malja and former F1 driver Roberto Merhi, who again replaces Sergio Canamasas at the Rapax squad.

The field was completed by Arden's Sean Gelael, who caused the virtual safety car to be deployed in the closing minutes of the session when he stopped – facing the wrong way – beside the second part of Ascari, and could not get going again.

Practice results

ClaDriverTeamTimeGap
1 russia Artem Markelov  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'31.128  
2 italy Luca Ghiotto  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'31.362 0.234
3 monaco Charles Leclerc  italy Prema Powerteam 1'31.367 0.239
4 japan Nobuharu Matsushita  france ART Grand Prix 1'31.406 0.278
5 netherlands Nyck de Vries  spain Racing Engineering 1'31.446 0.318
6 united_kingdom Oliver Rowland  france DAMS 1'31.514 0.386
7 thailand Alexander Albon  france ART Grand Prix 1'31.516 0.388
8 united_kingdom Jordan King  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'31.657 0.529
9 switzerland Louis Deletraz  italy Rapax 1'31.671 0.543
10 italy Antonio Fuoco  italy Prema Powerteam 1'31.727 0.599
11 france Norman Nato  united_kingdom Arden International 1'31.744 0.616
12 switzerland Ralph Boschung  spain Campos Racing 1'31.793 0.665
13 canada Nicholas Latifi  france DAMS 1'32.064 0.936
14 sweden Gustav Malja  spain Racing Engineering 1'32.095 0.967
15 spain Roberto Merhi  italy Rapax 1'32.107 0.979
16 brazil Sergio Sette Camara  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'32.131 1.003
17 united_states Santino Ferrucci  italy Trident 1'32.300 1.172
18 romania Robert Visoiu  spain Campos Racing 1'32.543 1.415
19 malaysia Nabil Jeffri  italy Trident 1'32.822 1.694
20 indonesia Sean Gelael  united_kingdom Arden International 1'32.839 1.711
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