Red Bull’s Japanese hopeful Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) set the fastest time of the afternoon with three minutes remaining in the Formula 2 free practice session, ahead of last year’s F3 champion Victor Martins (ART GP) and Dutchman Richard Verschoor (Van Amersfoort).
Verschoor caused a third red flag in this session and cut short the proceedings, hitting the wall just before the tunnel, with two minutes to go. This did not prevent Arthur Leclerc (DAMS), Charles’ brother and a F2 rookie, from taking a very encouraging 4th place. Whereas Théo Pourchaire (ART GP), the championship leader after four rounds and eight races, had to settle for 10th place.
Pourchaire already won the main F2 race in Monaco two years ago. He has only a three-point lead (65 to 62) over Denmark’s Frederik Vesti (Prema), who narrowly edged him on Thursday afternoon: by just three tenths of a second, which bodes well for a mouth-watering duel this weekend, either at the head of the pack or in the heart of the field.
The two other French drivers, Clément Novalak (Trident), in his second F2 season, and Isack Hadjar (HiTech), another winner in Monaco in 2021, in Formula Regional Alpine, finished close, respectively in 14th and 12th places, with only a tenth of a second between them. Next session is scheduled for Friday, starting at 3:10 pm, for two groups of cars in the qualifications. It will probably be close, very close.