F2 or Formula 2 is an open-wheel formula racing class that was originally codified in 1948. The primary difference between F1 and F2 is that, unlike F1, F2 teams do not construct their vehicles. Since Formula 2 is a standard series, all of the cars are identical. F2 vehicles typically lapped the track 10 to 15 seconds slower than F1 vehicles.
The majority of the pack accelerated quickly out of the starting gate to accumulate laps. Before EnzoFittipaldi breached the 1:36 barrier to lead a Carlin 1-2 ahead of Zane Maloney, Roy Nissany, ThéoPourchaire, and Iwasa all held the lead in the early going. After setting the quickest time in the first session of Day 1, it wasn't long before MP Motorsport reclaimed the top spot on the timing sheets.
After installing a new set of soft tyres, Daruvala completed many flying laps to reduce the benchmark, which decreased the time to beat from 1:36.660 to 1:36.160. Victor Martins, driving the ART Grand Prix car, wrecked at Turn 16 after the session went on for an hour, bringing out the Red Flag to fix the barriers.
Doohan beat Daruvala's record by 0.170s to become the first driver in the Virtuosi car to reach the 1:35 mark. The Alpine junior won the race in 1:35.990, holding the top spot for the final hour and beating Daruvala and Iwasa.
Ralph Boschung finished the morning in fourth place, ahead of Fittipaldi in P5, and Kush Maini, a colleague from 2023 Campos Racing, in sixth. Nissany was Charouz Racing System's seventh-fastest driver. Dennis Hauger split the two ART cars driven by Pourchaire and Martins to finish the session in eighth place. A total of 53 laps were accomplished by FrederikVesti and Juan Manuel Correa of PREMA Racing while testing for Van Amersfoort Racing.
In a crowded afternoon session, the long-run pace was the main topic. Vesti took the lead early on. The Mercedes junior gradually dropped his standard by six-tenths. With a time of 1:38.283, he beat Dennis Hauger and Iwasa by 1.3 seconds. Midway through, Doohan and Maini made contact, resulting in the sole halt of the session.
As the race entered its final hour, Clément Novalak of Trident passed rookie Bearman of 2023 PREMA to take second place. Vesti's finest effort remained clear of the competition as the only driver in the 1:36s until the final 10 minutes, improving further with a 1:36.462 late on. Both PREMAs entered the top three thanks to a string of late personal best times, with Bearman separating DAMS team members Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc for third place.
Before Novalak and the two cars driven by Nissany and Brad Benavides for the Charouz Racing System, Maloney was in fifth place, six-tenths off the lead. Roman Stanek came in ninth place, while Hauger completed the top 10. With 67 laps completed, Pourchaire had the most outstanding mileage out of the 11 drivers who broke the 50-lap barrier.
Testing for the postseason will start on the third and final day at 9 am local time. Rafael Villagómez will take over the #25 vehicle and pair with Juan Manuel Correa in the #24, changing the lineup for Van Amersfoort Racing.
Jack Doohan set the pace at Yas Marina Circuit.
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