Vandoorne on top in free practice
Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne was back on top this morning: the Belgian ace set the quickest laptime in today’s free practice session at Budapest in a 1:28.969, a clear four tenths from title rival Rio Haryanto. Alex Lynn completed the top 3.
The session opened in high temperatures with the cars feeding onto the short and twisty track on Medium Pirelli tyres. Pierre Gasly set the early pace ahead of his teammate Lynn in heavy traffic, but Vandoorne dipped under 1m30s on his first push lap moving up to the top of the standings, Alexander Rossi in tow. Lynn found some extra pace to better the Belgian’s laptime, with Haryanto also able to move up to P2. Vandoorne however was on a mission and went even quicker to break the 1m29s barrier and sit pretty at the top.
The remainder of the session was trouble-free and studious as the drivers and the teams mainly focused on race simulations. Haryanto pipped Lynn out of P2 whilst Arthur Pic took full advantage of a clear track with most of the cars back into the pits to set the fourth best laptime of the session.
At the chequered flag, Vandoorne looked mighty strong ahead of today’s qualifying session. He will once again be the man to beat in a session that promises to be hot with many drivers looking to break into the top 3 and challenge the ART man.