Monza F2: Ghiotto leads de Vries in practice

Italian driver Luca Ghiotto topped the Formula 2 practice session at Monza, the series’ first on-track activity since the passing of Arden driver Anthoine Hubert at Spa last weekend.

A number of teams and drivers ran tributes to Hubert and messages of support for Juan Manuel Correa on their cars. Correa remains stable in intensive car after being involved in the same incident which claimed the life of Hubert.

Most drivers chose to remain in the pits for the first 25 minutes of the 45-minute session, with Correa’s teammate Callum IIott setting the early pace. 

It didn’t take championship leader Nyck de Vries long to assert himself at the top of the leaderboard when most of the grid came out in the final 18 minutes, and the Dutchman remained top until the last four minutes, when Ghiotto shot to the top of the leaderboard. 

However, Ghiotto and his UNI-Virtuosi teammate Guan Yu Zhou are under investigation for using wet tyres for their installation laps on the still-damp track, which is against regulations if the session is not declared wet.

ART Grand Prix driver de Vries – who holds a 34-point championship lead over Nicholas Latifi – held on for second behind Ghiotto while Carlin’s Louis Deletraz rounded out the top three with his teammate Nobuharu Matsushita just behind. 

Jack Aitken was an early session leader despite running wide at the Parabolica, but the Campos Racing driver’s follow-up laps were enough for fifth ahead of DAMS driver Latifi. 

Renault junior Zhou took seventh as the highest-placed rookie, ahead of the Prema cars of Mick Schumacher and Sean Gelael and Sauber Junior Team’s Ilott.

Sauber, Arden and Trident are all running a single car at Monza. Arden and Sauber chose not to replace Hubert and Correa respectively for this weekend. 

The Trident-run car of Giuliano Alesi was impounded after also being involved in the crash at Spa. Ferrari junior Alesi will race this weekend as he takes over the car of his teammate, Ralph Boschung, who watches from the sidelines.

Ilott was the best of the single-car team runners in 10th, with Alesi 12th and Calderon 16th. 

McLaren development driver Sergio Sette Camara, who has been suffering from the flu, topped the session early on but fell to 11th.

Session results:

18 Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 1’33.017  
24 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 1’33.120 0.103
31 Louis Deletraz Carlin 1’33.298 0.281
42 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin 1’33.388 0.371
515 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1’33.676 0.659
66 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1’33.680 0.663
77 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1’33.707 0.690
89 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 1’33.768 0.751
910 Sean Gelael Prema Powerteam 1’33.791 0.774
1011 Callum Ilott Charouz Racing System 1’33.955 0.938
115 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS 1’33.973 0.956
1220 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1’34.023 1.006
133 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1’34.064 1.047
1416 Jordan King MP Motorsport 1’34.556 1.539
1514 Marino Sato Campos Racing 1’35.076 2.059
1618 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 1’36.691 3.674
1717 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1’36.909 3.892

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