Stroll dominates Imola free practice sessions

Lance Stroll - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Championship leader Lance Stroll was quickest in both free practice sessions on Friday at the Italian circuit of Imola as he starts his bid to clinch the title this weekend.

The Canadian looks increasingly likely to move into Formula 1 with Williams in 2017, but is on the verge of clinching the FIA European Formula 3 Championship title with a round to spare, providing he leaves Imola with a lead of 75 points or more.

Heading into this weekend, the Prema Powerteam driver sits 68 points clear of team-mate Maximilian Günther, and Stroll made a perfect start on Friday whereas his championship rival endured two tough sessions.

Stroll set the pace in the first of the two forty minute sessions with a best time of 1:35.833, with the Red Bull-backed Niko Kari his closest challenger 0.307 seconds adrift for Motopark.

Anthoine Hubert and Callum Ilott were third and fifth fastest respectively for Van Amersfoort Racing, either side of Motopark’s Sergio Sette Câmara, while Nick Cassidy and Ralf Aron ended the session sixth and seventh for Prema Powerteam.

Joel Eriksson made it three Motopark drivers inside the top eight, while David Beckmann placed ninth for Mücke Motorsport ahead of George Russell of Hitech GP.

Stroll once again was on top in the second session with a time of 1:35.601, with Russell 0.318 seconds back in second ahead of Aron, Kari, Cassidy, Ilott, Hubert, Guanyu Zhou, Eriksson and Mikkel Jensen.

Günther on the other hand was restricted to just two laps in the opening session after crashing at the kink after Piratella that left him down in eighteenth position, and he failed to appear for the second session, leaving him on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.

Imola Free Practice 1 Result

11Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam1:35.833
210Niko KariFINMotopark1:36.140
321Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.358
49Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotopark1:36.631
56Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.669
62Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam1:36.692
716Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam1:36.763
822Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark1:36.788
98David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport1:36.839
1012George RussellGBRHitech GP1:36.884
1124Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP1:36.961
1211Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP1:37.027
137Mikkel JensenDENMucke Motorsport1:37.072
1420Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:37.077
155Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing1:37.135
1623Guanyu ZhouCHNMotopark1:37.215
1715Ukyo SasaharaJAPThreeBond with T-Sport1:37.586
1817Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam1:38.724
1914Wing Chung ChangMACThreeBond with T-Sport1:39.238

Imola Free Practice 2 Result

11Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam1:35.601
212George RussellGBRHitech GP1:35.919
316Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam1:36.134
410Niko KariFINMotopark1:36.187
52Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam1:36.243
66Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.266
721Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.370
823Guanyu ZhouCHNMotopark1:36.429
922Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark1:36.462
107Mikkel JensenDENMucke Motorsport1:36.655
1124Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP1:36.746
128David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport1:36.820
1320Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.835
145Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing1:36.886
1511Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP1:37.225
1615Ukyo SasaharaJAPThreeBond with T-Sport1:37.430
1714Wing Chung ChangMACThreeBond with T-Sport1:38.389
189Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotoparkNo Time
1917Maximilian GuntherGERPrema PowerteamNo Time