GP3 Series convert Alexander Sims posted the fastest time on a rain-hit first day of pre-season testing at Paul Ricard in France.

The former F3 Euro Series racer, driving for Status Grand Prix, set the benchmark time in the morning session. His rivals were unable to better it during the afternoon as the circuit was showered in rain.

The two-days of running at Paul Ricard is the first of three tests that will be held prior to the opening race of the season at Istanbul in May. The teams and drivers were greeted by wet conditions when the morning session got underway.

MW Arden signing Lewis Williamson set the initial pacesetter, before being knocked off by fellow-Brit Sims as the first hour after an hour. Later in the session the track began to dry and various drivers took turns at the top of the timesheets until a red flag disrupted the session. Once the session was restarted the drivers had just five minutes remaining, with the Status pairing of Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa knocking Addax driver Gabby Chaves off top spot in the dying moments to record a 1-2 for the Irish team. Williamson was fourth quickest, with Miki Monras fifth for Addax.

With the afternoon session starting without rainfall, all of the cars were eager to take to the track. However, just a few minutes in the rain came down. As the cars all returned to the pits, it was James Calado who was at the top of the timing screens for ART. With the rain not easing off until the final half an hour this time was not beaten, but it was nearly three seconds off Sim's time from the morning. The weather conditions created several red flag stoppages during the course of the afternoon.

Morning session:

Driver Team Laps Best Time Gap
1 Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 1:21827
2 Antonio Felix Da Costa Status Grand Prix 34 1:21.913 0.086
3 Gabby Chaves Addax Team 49 1:22.067 0.240
4 Lewis Williamson MW Arden 50 1:22.221 0.394
5 Miki Monras Addax Team 52 1:22.375 0.548
6 Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 Racing 34 1:22.488 0.661
7 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor Racing 36 1:22.870 1.043
8 Ivan Lukashevich Status Grand Prix 41 1:22.931 1.104
9 Tom Dillmann Carlin 37 1:23.034 1.207
10 Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer Motorsport 48 1:23.180 1.353
11 Conor Daly Carlin 40 1:23.278 1.451
12 Daniel Morad Addax Team 38 1:23.668 1.841
13 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS GP 48 1:23.993 2.166
14 Kataro Sakurai Carlin 46 1:24.959 3.132
15 Zoel Amberg Atech CRS GP 38 1:25.017 3.190
16 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS GP 51 1:26.584 4.757
17 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 36 1:27.312 5.485
18 James Calado Lotus ART 27 1:27.779 5.952
19 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 24 1:27.868 6.041
20 Nigel Melker RSC Mucke Motorsport 33 1:28.207 6.380
21 Michael Christensen RSC Mucke Motorsport 37 1:28.299 6.472
22 Simon Trummer MW Arden 36 1:28.363 6.536
23 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing 35 1:28.520 6.693
24 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 37 1:28.830 7.003
25 Doru Sechelariu Tech 1 Racing 38 1:29.150 7.323
26 Matias Laine Manor Racing 15 1:31.104 9.277
27 Nico Muller Jenzer Motorsport 36 1:31.823 9.996
28 Willi Steindl RSC Mucke Motorsport 34 1:32.335 10.50
29 Pedro Nunes Lotus ART 27 1:33.284 11.45
30 Mitch Evans MW Arden 24 1:33.645 11.81

Afternoon session:

Driver Team Laps Best Time Gap
1 James Calado Lotus ART 36 1:24.627
2 Ivan Lukashevich Status Grand Prix 30 1:25.795 1.168
3 Lewis Williamson MW Arden 18 1:25.798 1.171
4 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor Racing 33 1:25.966 1.339
5 Tom Dillmann Carlin 35 1:26.024 1.397
6 Conor Daly Carlin 45 1:26.085 1.458
7 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 39 1:26.092 1.465
8 Antonio Felix Da Costa Status Grand Prix 24 1:26.109 1.482
9 Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 17 1:26.198 1.571
10 Nigel Melker RSC Mücke Motorsport 41 1:26.567 1.940
11 Daniel Morad Addax Team 10 1:26.632 2.005
12 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS GP 8 1:26.794 2.167
13 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 33 1:26.895 2.268
14 Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer Motorsport 12 1:27.349 2.722
15 Nico Müller Jenzer Motorsport 17 1:27.479 2.852
16 Michael Christensen RSC Mücke Motorsport 37 1:27.679 3.052
17 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS GP 16 1:27.994 3.367
18 Zoel Amberg Atech CRS GP 30 1:28.623 3.996
19 Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 Racing 39 1:29.390 4.763
20 Kataro Sakurai Carlin 36 1:29.923 5.296
21 Matias Laine Manor Racing 34 1:34.554 9.927
22 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing 24 1:35.164 10.537
23 Willi Steindl RSC Mücke Motorsport 37 1:35.203 10.576
24 Mitch Evans MW Arden 41 1:37.480 12.853
25 Gabby Chaves Addax Team 20 1:38.034 13.407
26 Doru Sechelariu Tech 1 Racing 34 1:38.483 13.856
27 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 42 1:38.545 13.918
28 Pedro Nunes Lotus ART 34 1:38.654 14.027
29 Simon Trummer MW Arden 17 1:38.870 14.243
30 Miki Monras Addax Team 12 1:39.256 14.629