|It was cool at Silverstone with air and track temperatures of 19° and 27° respectively as the 45-minute Free Practice got underway. Norman Nato and Jordan King, the two Racing Engineering drivers, were amongst the last out on the track and, like all the other cars, they were using the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres as they prepared for both this afternoon’s Qualifying and the races due on Saturday and Sunday.
Norman was the first to set a quick lap going 2nd with a time of 1:40.726s but then Jordan went fastest on 1:40.642s on his fourth lap. It was Norman’s turn next as he improved to 1:40.249s to move up to 2nd and Jordan reduced his time to 1:40.507s. With twenty-eight minutes of the session gone Norman and Jordan returned to the pits for some adjustments to their cars and Norman was back on track with twenty-two minutes to run and Jordan joined him three minutes later.
Following a brief Virtual Safety Car period when the cars returned to the pits, Jordan was soon back on track completing a few laps before returning to the pits again while Norman waited for the last seven minutes before he was back out again. Jordan joined his teammate with just over three minutes to go but neither man improved on their earlier quickest laps.
The track temperature was much hotter at 34° for the thirty-minute Qualifying session with air temperatures just a little warmer at 20°. All the cars were now fitted with the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres as they battled for grid positions for tomorrow’s Feature Race.
Jordan was the first of the Racing Engineering pair to set a quick lap to go 4th on 1:39.123s but Norman immediately went quicker to go fastest on 1:38.842s. After eleven minutes a red flag period saw all the cars return to the pits and all the teams took advantage of the interruption to adjust the set up on their cars and fit a new set of soft tyres. With ten minutes to go Norman and Jordan were back on track and Norman immediately went fastest in each sector to go to the top of the timing list with a time of 1:38.216s but Jordan’s quick lap was stopped by a second red flag incident. The session started again with just over four and a half minutes’ left but with neither man having enough time to better their earlier laps.
Norman’s excellent fastest lap will see him start tomorrow’s Feature Race from pole position with a great opportunity to take his second win of the season while Jordan is unlucky not to be able to start higher than 8th but the confidence he gained from his maiden GP2 win last week in Austria means that he will be looking to finish on the podium.