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
|1||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1m24.171s|
|2||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1m24.259s|
|4||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||1m24.824s|
|5||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m25.199s|
|6||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m25.225s|
|7||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||1m25.525s|
|8||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||1m25.692s|
|9||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||1m25.791s|
|11||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||1m25.865s|
|12||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1m26.067s|
|13||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1m26.600s|
|14||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1m26.698s|
|15||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m26.752s|
|16||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||1m26.859s|
|18||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||1m27.601s|
|19||40||Alex Fontana||SWI||Pons Racing||1m27.982s|
|20||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m33.332s|