Lotus Junior driver Esteban Ocon set the fastest time during the two 40-minute practice sessions ahead of this weekends Pau round of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. The Prema Powerteam driver set a best time of 1:10.688s to beat Van Amersfoort Racing’s sixteen-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen into second place by 0.171s. For Verstappen, it was a mightily impressive session, as it was his first ever session on a street circuit in a single-seater car.
The Mucke Motorsport drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Lucas Auer finished third and fourth as the team continued to improve. Another driver improving every time out is Jake Dennis, who was the leading Carlin driver in fifth. Fellow Briton Tom Blomqvist was sixth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, ahead of two more Carlin drivers in Ed Jones and Jordan King.
EuroInternational’s Riccardo Agostini and Fortec Motorsport’s Mitchell Gilbert completed the top ten around the tight street circuit lined with unforgiving Armco barriers.
The barriers would claim its first victims of the weekend when Prema Powerteam’s Antonio Fuoco, Mucke Motorsports Roy Nissany and EuroInternational’s Michele Beretta all suffered damage when hitting the walls. Beretta’s incident brought out the only red flag of the session.
This afternoon’s first qualifying session of the weekend has been divided into two, so to try and give drivers the best opportunity to set laps on a clearer track than what might have been had all 26 cars been qualifying at the same time.
Pau Free Practice Times (Combined FP1 & FP2)
|1||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||1:10.688|
|2||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:10.859|
|3||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mucke Motorsport||1:10.950|
|4||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mucke Motorsport||1:11.083|
|6||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:11.385|
|10||Mitchell Gilbert||AUS||Fortec Motorsport||1:11.494|
|11||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||1:11.612|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:11.713|
|13||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||1:11.728|
|14||Dennis van de Laar||NED||Prema Powerteam||1:11.729|
|15||Felipe Guimaraes||BRZ||Double R Racing||1:11.874|
|16||Sean Galael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:12.002|
|17||Gustavo Menezes||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:12.053|
|18||Richard Goddard||AUS||ThreeBond with T-Sport||1:12.113|
|19||John Bryant-Meisner||SWE||Fortec Motorsport||1:12.128|
|20||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jo Zeller Racing||1:12.448|
|21||Jules Szymkowiak||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:12.506|
|22||Alexander Toril||ESP||ThreeBond with T-Sport||1:12.539|
|23||Roy Nissany||ISR||Mucke Motorsport||1:13.048|
|25||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||1:13.568|
|26||Hector Hurst||GBR||Team West-Tec F3||1:13.673|