Silverstone F2: Leclerc leads Rowland in Thursday practice

Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Charles Leclerc led the way in Formula 2 practice at Silverstone ahead of his nearest championship challenger Oliver Rowland.

Silverstone F2: Leclerc leads Rowland in Thursday practice

Leclerc, who enters the weekend with a 49-point lead over his British rival, moved to the top of the times early on in the 45-minute session, which took place on a Thursday afternoon instead of its usual Friday slot as part of an experiment with the timetable of the support races at Silverstone.

DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi soon went quicker before Leclerc improved to retake first place, and then Rowland, who is targeting an improved qualifying performance in front of his home crowd, moved to the top spot as the session approached halfway.

But Leclerc hit back almost immediately with a time of 1m40.793s to go back to the top of the timesheets.

That time was the benchmark across the mid-session lull, but Prema Racing driver Leclerc was able to improve again during the second half and ended up with a best time of 1m40.695s.

Rowland also bettered his best time to a 1m41.010s, but wound up 0.315s adrift of Leclerc, who is chasing a record-equalling sixth consecutive pole position in the F1 support category.

Luca Ghiotto finished third for Russian Time, ahead of Latifi and Red Bull Ring sprint race winner, Artem Markelov.

Sergio Canamasas was sixth for Rapax, with Briton Jordan King – a winner in what was then called GP2 at Silverstone in 2016 – seventh at his home track.

Nyck de Vries ended up eighth ahead of Arden International’s Norman Nato, who lost a piece of bodywork from the right-hand side of his car as he headed down the Hanger straight just before the halfway point after it had been flapping around during the early stages.

Louis Deletraz rounded out the top 10 for Racing Engineering.

Antonio Fuoco was 13th in the second Prema-run car, ahead of the ART Grand Prix pair Nobuharu Matsushita and Alexander Albon.

The third British driver in the field – European Formula 3 racer Callum Ilott, who is making his F2 debut in a one-off appearance for the Trident squad – finished in 18th place.

Robert Visoiu – the Campos Racing driver facing a three-place grid penalty after he was adjudged to have caused a collision with de Vries during the sprint race last time out in Austria – brought up the rear of the field.

Practice results

Cla#DriverTeamLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 1 monaco Charles Leclerc italy Prema Powerteam 16 1'40.695     210.612
2 9 united_kingdom Oliver Rowland france DAMS 18 1'41.010 0.315 0.315 209.955
3 5 italy Luca Ghiotto russia RUSSIAN TIME 16 1'41.247 0.552 0.237 209.463
4 10 canada Nicholas Latifi france DAMS 17 1'41.283 0.588 0.036 209.389
5 6 russia Artem Markelov russia RUSSIAN TIME 17 1'41.316 0.621 0.033 209.321
6 19 spain Sergio Canamasas italy Rapax 17 1'41.328 0.633 0.012 209.296
7 15 united_kingdom Jordan King netherlands MP Motorsport 19 1'41.329 0.634 0.001 209.294
8 18 netherlands Nyck de Vries italy Rapax 20 1'41.359 0.664 0.030 209.232
9 20 france Norman Nato united_kingdom Arden International 19 1'41.377 0.682 0.018 209.195
10 3 switzerland Louis Deletraz spain Racing Engineering 18 1'41.631 0.936 0.254 208.672
11 14 brazil Sergio Sette Camara netherlands MP Motorsport 16 1'41.660 0.965 0.029 208.613
12 4 sweden Gustav Malja spain Racing Engineering 13 1'41.742 1.047 0.082 208.444
13 2 italy Antonio Fuoco italy Prema Powerteam 16 1'41.755 1.060 0.013 208.418
14 7 japan Nobuharu Matsushita france ART Grand Prix 18 1'41.824 1.129 0.069 208.277
15 8 thailand Alexander Albon france ART Grand Prix 17 1'41.885 1.190 0.061 208.152
16 21 indonesia Sean Gelael united_kingdom Arden International 19 1'42.224 1.529 0.339 207.462
17 11 switzerland Ralph Boschung spain Campos Racing 15 1'42.284 1.589 0.060 207.340
18 17 Callum Ilott italy Trident 17 1'42.314 1.619 0.030 207.279
19 16 malaysia Nabil Jeffri italy Trident 17 1'42.317 1.622 0.003 207.273
20 12 romania Robert Visoiu spain Campos Racing 18 1'42.677 1.982 0.360 206.546
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