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Sport: F2 Abu Dhabi: Points leader Piastri sets the pace in practice

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The championship leader surged to the top of the times in the final third of the 45 minute session, courtesy of a 1m36.800s, set on the medium tyres.

Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing © Formula Motorsport Ltd Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing

It proved to be a hotly-contested session with only 0.035s separating the top three as rookie Jack Doohan emerged as Piastri’s closest rival.

Doohan managed to extract an effort 0.021s slower than Piastri in his MP Motorsport entry, while ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard was third fastest.

Title contenders Robert Shwartzman and Guanyu Zhou clocked times good enough for ninth and 11th respectively.

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F2 newcomer Clement Novalak was the first to set an indicative time around the revamped circuit, posting a 1m39.489s on the medium tyres.

The benchmark was soon eclipsed first by Jeddah podium finisher Ralph Boschung before Doohan, Marcus Armstrong and Juri Vips enjoyed spells at the top of the times.

Lundgaard lit up the timing screens with 30 minutes of the session remaining, surging to the top with a 1m37.770s. The Dane shaved almost second from that effort becoming the first drivers into the 1m36s bracket.

Piastri emerged as his nearest rival before toppling Lundgaard as the session approached its final 15 minutes. The Australian set a new benchmark which was five thousandths of a second faster than Lundgaard.

Christian Lundgaard, ART Grand Prix © Christian Lundgaard, ART Grand Prix

Christian Lundgaard, ART Grand Prix

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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Boschung sat third ahead of Vips, Doohan, Armstrong and Marino Sato.

Piastri managed to lap even fastest taking 0.030s off his time while countryman Doohan popped up into second spot as the clock ticked towards the final 10 minutes.

The times remained unchanged in the closing minutes of the session as Piastri emerged on top ahead of Doohan and Lundgaard.

Boschung ended the session in fourth fractionally ahead of Novalak while Vips posted the sixth fastest time. The top 10 was completed by Armstrong, Bent Viscaal, Shwartzman and Marino Sato.

Practice ran largely without incident with Roy Nissany the closest to flirting with the circuit’s barriers.

The field will return for qualifying scheduled for 18:30 local time (14:30 GMT).

F2 Abu Dhabi - Practice results:

1 Oscar Piastri Prema Powerteam 1'36.800
2 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport 1'36.821 0.021
3 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1'36.835 0.035
4 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1'37.299 0.499
5 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 1'37.315 0.515
6 Jüri Vips HitechGP 1'37.339 0.539
7 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1'37.416 0.616
8 Bent Viscaal Trident 1'37.615 0.815
9 Robert Shwartzman Prema Powerteam 1'37.633 0.833
10 Marino Sato Trident 1'37.701 0.901
11 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1'37.738 0.938
12 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1'37.817 1.017
13 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1'37.910 1.110
14 Liam Lawson HitechGP 1'37.915 1.115
15 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 1'37.997 1.197
16 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1'38.101 1.301
17 Roy Nissany DAMS 1'38.202 1.402
18 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1'38.207 1.407
19 Richard Verschoor Charouz Racing System 1'38.387 1.587
20 Olli Caldwell Campos Racing 1'38.538 1.738
21 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 1'39.155 2.355
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1'40.859 4.059
View full results

Abu Dhabi agrees new 10-year F1 deal through to 2030 .
Formula 1 has announced a new 10-year agreement with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to continue staging the race until at least 2030. The Yas Marina Circuit has been a regular fixture on the F1 calendar since 2009, when it became the first twilight event in the championship’s history. This weekend sees the venue host the final round of the 2021 season, in which Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will do battle in a winner-takes-all title decider. Ahead of this year’s race, Abu Dhabi underwent some re-modifications to the circuit layout in a bid to improve overtaking opportunities.

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