Briton Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m34.893s) set the fastest lap time on the first of the two days of FIA Formula 3 European Championship pre-season testing. At the 4.381-kilometre long Hungaroring, the rookie was 0.059 seconds faster than Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m34.952s), who also is about to start into his rookie season. Experienced F3 driver Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1m35.010s) finished third in the tests held at the circuit located not far from Hungary’s capital, Budapest, followed by Joel Eriksson (Motopark) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing) who both crossed the line in 1m35.055s minutes. Altogether, the gap between the top 17 added up to less than a second.
“Trevor Carlin called me early this week and asked me if I wanted to test for them in Hungary and at the Red Bull Ring,” revealed Jake Dennis who finished third in the 2015 FIA F3 European Championship season and made his comeback in the series today in Hungary. “It’s easy to notice that Carlin made a major step forward, in the past months. In addition they have got three young and really skilled drivers who possibly have to cope with a slight lack of experience.”
Joel Eriksson and Pedro Piquet finished fourth and fifth, with Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m35.162s) coming sixth. “We tried quite a lot of things and we are rather happy with our achievements,” said the Briton who won the Indian MRF Challenge Formula 2000 this winter, thus defeating his Formula 3 rivals Joey Mawson, Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.521s) and Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m35.966s). “It was important for me that I also could contest races this winter. Some go to India to do so, others to New Zealand. And as my single-seater experience is still limited I am learning a lot. And it goes without saying that I was also delighted with the success.”
Rookie Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m35.247s) who is supported by the Force India Formula One team, finished seventh, in his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship appearance, thus outperforming the 2016 vice-champion Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.292s) in eighth position. Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.316s) and Guan Yu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.366s) completed the top 10.
The unlucky driver of day one was Japan’s Marino Sato (Motopark, 1m37.420s). The rookie had completed just a few laps when he was stopped by gearbox problems. “It was a pity but better today than in a race meeting,” he said, trying to find a positive aspect. “It’s a very competitive field and the season won’t be easy for me as a rookie. But I’ve got a fast team-mate – reigning rookie champion Joel Eriksson – who already supported me with a lot of advice. It’s great that he’s so kind and open – that’s really helpful for me as a rookie.
Source : fiaf3europe.com