In a practice session that arguably should’ve been ended long before it did, ART Grand Prix‘s Esteban Ocon came out on top.
With rain falling on the Black Sea resort of Sochi since the Formula One practice in the morning, the GP3 Series was set to be run in damp conditions; that was until as the 45 minute session was to begin the heavens opened.
Cool temperatures, wet track, darkening sky above, and with a large number of drivers making their first appearance around the Winter Olympic Park it was not a surprise to see drivers spinning off of the tarmac. Championship contender Marvin Kirchhöfer was an early spinner haven spun off of the tract at turn 7.
Ralph Boschung led the way for a while before having his time eclipsed by Ocon when a red flag brought a halt to proceedings. The stoppage in track action came as a result of Status Grand Prix‘s Alex Fontana drifting wide at turn 4 that forced him into a spin and led to him making contact with the barrier.
As the session restarted, the weather worsened and meant times failed to improve, with spins for Artur Janosz, Zaid Ashkanani and Alfonso Celis Jr.
As the chequered flag fell, Ocon remained on top; followed by Boschung, Kirchhöfer, Kevin Ceccon, Luca Ghiotto, Alex Palou, Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Sandy Stuvik and Seb Morris.