Max Verstappen Tops Free Practice as Spa Weekend gets Underway


Dutchman Max Verstappen was fastest after the two free practice sessions ahead of this weekends Spa-Francorchamps round of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver set a best time of 2:10.232s to best Prema Powerteam duo and fellow series rookies Esteban Ocon and Antonio Fuoco by three quarters of a second.

Championship leader Ocon had initially struggled for pace in the first session, ending down in twelfth place, but came on strong in the second session. For Fuoco, he was third in both sessions, having been beaten by Briton Jordan King in the leading Carlin machine in the first session.

Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist was the initial pace setter in the first session, setting a best time of 2:11.896s to head the field. He had a hair-raising spin at Pouhon during the session but emerged unscathed. He slipped to fourth in the second session, but was over a second behind Verstappen up front.

Two of Rosenqvists Mucke Motorsport team-mates had troubled session, with both Lucas Auer and Roy Nissany only completing a single lap in the first session before struggling to 19th and 24th respectively in the second session.

Briton Jake Dennis in the second Carlin machine was fifth in the opening session before slipping outside the top ten in the faster second session. Likewise, sixth place in the first session Nicholas Latifi also dropped out of the top ten in the second session for Prema Powerteam as the ultra-competitive field continued to show its strength in depth.

Verstappen’s Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Gustavo Menezes showed the team were on form in Spa by setting the fifth fastest time of the second session, ahead of Brazilian Felipe Guimaraes in the sole Double R Racing entry in sixth.

Felix Serralles was seventh in the first session and eighth in the second session in the leading Team West-Tec F3 entry, while second-placed in the championship Tom Blomqvist was eighth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin in session one but slipped to twelfth in session two. Blomqvist’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi was the faster of the two over the two sessions, finishing tenth in session one and seventh in session two.

The ThreeBond with T-Sport was ninth in both sessions, with Australian Richard Goddard taking the honours in the first session and Spaniard Alexander Toril in the second.

Debutant Santino Ferrucci, who only turned sixteen at the end of May showed well, setting the 14th best time in the opening session for EuroInternational and improved to 13th in the second session.

Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice 1 Result (Top 10)

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mücke Motorsport 2:11.896
2 Jordan King GBR Carlin 2:12.268
3 Antonio Fuoco ITA Prema Powerteam 2:12.325
4 Max Verstappen NED Van Amersfoort Racing 2:12.355
5 Jake Dennis GBR Carlin 2:12.379
6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Prema Powerteam 2:12.449
7 Felix Serralles PUE Team West-Tec F3 2:12.534
8 Tom Blomqvist GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2:12.609
9 Richard Goddard AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport 2:12.682
10 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2:12.772

Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice 2 Result (Top 10)

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Max Verstappen NED Van Amersfoort Racing 2:10.232
2 Esteban Ocon FRA Prema Powerteam 2:10.986
3 Antonio Fuoco ITA Prema Powerteam 2:11.096
4 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mücke Motorsport 2:11.325
5 Gustavo Menezes USA Van Amersfoort Racing 2:11.375
6 Felipe Guimaraes BRZ Double R Racing 2:11.584
7 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2:11.728
8 Felix Serralles PUE Team West-Tec F3 2:11.782
9 Alexander Toril ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport 2:11.855
10 Jordan King GBR Carlin 2:11.976