Formula 3

Armstrong Fastest in Opening Day of Final F3 Test

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Marcus Armstrong - Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya - Day 1
Credit: Joe Portlock

PREMA Racing‘s Marcus Armstrong was quickest on the opening day of the final FIA Formula 3 test at the Hungaroring.

Leonardo Pulcini, the pacesetter of last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, set the second best time with Robert Shwartzman third fastest.

When the morning session got underway, it was MP Motorsport‘s Liam  who set the initial pace but was quickly beaten by Fabio Scherer.

However, it did not take long for Pulcini to be once again on the pace inside the first half an hour.

The first red flag of the session came just before the hour mark, when Sebastian Fernandez stopped at Turn 6 but running was quickly back underway.

Pulcini improved further on his benchmark time ahead of team-mate Jüri Vips but Trident‘s Niko Kari leapfrogged the Hitech Grand Prix duo.

Over an hour later the second red flag interrupted the session after Alex Peroni lost control and crashed into the barrier.

When the running restarted, Shwartzman nabbed the top spot. Having dropped out of the top ten after a flurry of quick laps, Pulcini put in a time to beat that of the Russian.

As the session, drew to a close a third red flag as Yuki Tsunoda stopped at Turn 12.

Running resumed with just eight minutes on the clock, but no one could beat the time of Pulcini.

Shwartzman was classified second ahead of Kari, Vips, Raoul HymanArtem Petrov, Richard Verschoor, Fernandez, Armstrong and Jake Hughes.

After the two hour break, the drivers picked up from where they had left off with Tsunoda lapping quickest at the half hour mark.

Verschoor and Simo Laaksonen occupied the second and third spots.

Hughes, stopped at the pit exit bringing out the red flag once again.

There was little change when running resumed with the top three remaining unchallenged for the next hour as teams worked on getting mileage down rather than fastest laps.

Laaksonen and Verschoor temporarily switched placed before the latter set the fastest time – though a way off Pulcini’s time from the morning.

With just over half an hour left, Pulcini and Ye Yifei leapt to second and third.

Yifei, followed this up with an even better time to take to the top of the leader board.

There was yet another red flag, as Shwartzman came to a stop on track between Turns 11 and 12.

Light drops of rain were stopped but this did not deter Armstrong who set his best time of the day to jump to second in the standings.

The PREMA and Ferrari Driver Academy New Zealander followed this up with another blistering lap to dip under the 1m32s for the first time in the afternoon.

Jehan Daruvala, momentarily dislodged Armstrong but the Kiwi refused to bettered by his team-mate and returned to the top instantaneously.

At the chequered flag, Armstrong still sat on top followed by Daruvala.

Pulcini was third from; Lawson, Yifei, Fernandez, Logan SargeantDavid Beckmann, Tsunoda and Verschoor completed the top ten.

The pitlane opens at 9.00 local time tomorrow for the final day of pre-season testing.

FIA Formula 3 Budapest Test: Day 1 – Morning Session Results 

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FIA Formula 3 Budapest Test: Day 1 – Afternoon Session Results

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