Championship favourite Theo Pourchaire set the early pace in the Formula 2 championship during the single practice session in Bahrain, which was interrupted by two red flags
It was rookie Brad Benavides who was the first to set a lap time, straight out of the box.
Fellow rookie Zane Maloney topped the time sheet quickly after, while his Rodin Carlin teammate and fellow Red Bull junior Enzo Fittipaldi lost power and had to pull over at turn 2, causing a red flag.
Following the brief red flag period to remove the stricken Carlin, Pourchaire topped the timing sheets and remained untouchable for the rest of the session, noting a 1:45.264 as the best overall time.
Returning drivers Ayumu Iwasa, Jehan Daruvala, and Frederik Vesti all looked for the P2 slot, before Pourchaire’s teammate and last year’s Formula 3 champion Victor Martins eventually managed to set the second-best time, making it an ART 1-2.
Richard Verschoor briefly found himself in P4 before getting his lap time deleted for track limits, dropping the Dutch driver back down to P9.
A second red flag came out when Campos’ Ralph Boschung came to a standstill at the exit of the pit lane with less than five minutes left on the clock, causing the session to end prematurely under the red flag.
DAMS driver and rookie Arthur Leclerc found himself in third, just under a tenth of a second adrift of the two Frenchmen, with Prema’s Vesti and Iwasa rounding out the top five.
Maloney, Boschung, Dennis Hauger, Verschoor, and Kush Maini set the rest of the top ten ahead of qualifying later today.
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