Frenchman Norman Nato surprised the paddock by setting the fastest time of the free practice session ahead of this weekends Formula Renault 3.5 Series race in Monaco. His time of 1:24.649s was only 0.040s ahead of team-mate and championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr as DAMS led the session.
The sole ISR Racing entrant Jazeman Jaafar was the closest challenger to the two DAMS boys, setting the third best time, while Russian Sergey Sirotkin was fourth for Fortec Motorsport. Pietro Fantin was fifth for International Draco Racing ahead of Zoel Amberg, who continues to impress and improve in the leading AV Formula entry.
Motorland Aragon race two winner Oliver Rowland was seventh in the second Fortec Motorsport machine and was the leading driver making his first visit to the Monaco circuit, ahead of Will Buller in the leading Arden Motorsport entry. Tech 1 Racing’s sole entry of Marco Sorensen was ninth, while Matthieu Vaxiviere completed the top ten for Lotus.
Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport and Will Stevens of Strakka Racing struggled to 13th and 14th but the Saturday qualifying session will be the time to be fast. Luca Ghiotto was the only driver to crash during the session which left the Italian down in 20th position in the second International Draco Racing machine.
Russian driver Nikolay Martsenko, who currently sits fifth in the championship, is a noticeable absentee this weekend with his team Comtec Racing team only fielding debutant Andrea Roda in Monaco. Roda was 21st and last on the timing screens as he tried to adapt to a new car and a new circuit.
Monaco Free Practice Times
|2||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||DAMS||1:24.689|
|3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||ISR Racing||1:25.262|
|4||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||Fortec Motorsport||1:25.365|
|5||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1:25.369|
|6||Zoel Amberg||SWI||AV Formula||1:25.390|
|7||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsport||1:25.489|
|8||Will Buller||GBR||Arden Motorsport||1:25.890|
|9||Marco Sorensen||DEN||Tech 1 Racing||1:26.228|
|11||Matias Lainé||FIN||Strakka Racing||1:26.271|
|13||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Arden Motorsport||1:26.558|
|14||Will Stevens||GBR||Strakka Racing||1:26.653|
|15||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Zeta Corse||1:26.950|
|16||Roman Mavlanov||RUS||Zeta Corse||1:27.489|
|17||Beitske Visser||NED||AV Formula||1:27.492|
|18||Oliver Webb||GBR||Pons Racing||1:27.528|
|19||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Pons Racing||1:28.781|
|20||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||International Draco Racing||1:28.933|
|21||Andrea Roda||ITA||Comtec Racing||1:35.486|