Rowland leads Fortec 1-2 in Monaco Practice

Oliver Rowland was fastest in the sole practice session ahead of this weekend’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series round at Monaco.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports driver had been at the top for most of the session but set a best time of 1m24.171s in the closing stages to confirm his status in P1, with his team-mate Jazeman Jaafar claiming second, just 0.088s behind.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was third fastest for Lotus, a year on from a back-breaking crash at the same circuit, with the Motorland Aragon race two winner just ahead of Strakka Racing’s Tio Ellinas.

Tom Dillmann was at the sharp end of the field for most of the session, but encountered traffic in the final sector of his quickest lap, meaning the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver ended up fifth fastest, over a second off the pace.

Pietro Fantin was sixth for International Draco Racing, ahead of Meindert van Buuren, while Nyck de Vries was eighth for DAMS, and was the leading driver who has never competed at the circuit before.

Nicholas Latifi was ninth in the leading Arden Motorsport entry, with Red Bull-backed Dean Stoneman completing the top ten for DAMS.

The session was halted midway through when Sean Gelael ground to a halt inside the tunnel, moments after clipping the wall at Mirabeau. The Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver ultimately ended up at the bottom of the times, and the lack of running could affect the rookie driver’s weekend, with just seven laps completed around a track he has never raced on before.

A number of drivers also ran off the circuit at Saint Devote, including Vaxiviere (twice) and Fantin, while Alfonso Celis Jr span his AVF machine at Massanet, ending up facing the wrong way down the track on the run down to Casino Square.

Monaco Free Practice Result

14Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m24.171s
23Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m24.259s
39Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m24.667s
411Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m24.824s
526Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m25.199s
619Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing1m25.225s
710Meindert van BuurenNEDLotus1m25.525s
81Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m25.692s
95Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m25.791s
102Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m25.850s
1112Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m25.865s
126Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m26.067s
1318Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m26.600s
1415Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m26.698s
1520Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing1m26.752s
1617Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m26.859s
1716Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m27.095s
1839Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons Racing1m27.601s
1940Alex FontanaSWIPons Racing1m27.982s
2025Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m33.332s