The FIA Formula 3 Championship returned to action at the Circuit Paul Ricard with Niko Kari ending practice fastest.
Championship leader Robert Shwartzman was second fastest with Leonardo Pulcini third.
After almost six weeks since the F3 drivers hit the track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Fabio Scherer got the action in France underway in his Sauber Junior Team by Charouz machine.
Dutchman, Richard Verschoor was the early pacesetter and was the first driver to dip under the two minute mark with a 1:57.876.
It was not long until Barcelona Race One winner Shwartzman set about asserting his speed to go quicker. The Russian was closely followed by PREMA Racing team-mate Marcus Armstrong who was just over one tenth slower.
The New Zealander quickly leap-frogged Shwartzman before the third PREMA of Jehan Daruvala got the better of them both.
The trio continued to swap positions until Kari joined the party.
They were soon joined Max Fewtrell, Jüri Vips, Jake Hughes, Christian Lundgaard and Devlin DeFrancesco who all took turns in running first as the times began to tumble.
Shwartzman, returned to the top spot though and broke the 1m52s barrier.
As the clock ticked down to the final minutes, the Russian was sitting on top. That was until Trident‘s Kari went almost six tenths quicker to reclaim the top spot.
Lundgaard attempted to join them at the front but ran wide meaning Kari ended as fastest.
Shwartzman held onto second, with Pulcini in third.
Behind them was Daruvala, Fewtrell, Piquet, Verschoor, Hughes, Felipe Drugovich and Armstrong completed the top ten.
The drivers will return to track at 17.50 local time for qualifying.
2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Circuit Paul Ricard – Practice
|2||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||PREMA Racing||+0.044|
|3||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Hitech Grand Prix||+0.134|
|4||Jehan Daruvala||IND||PREMA Racing||+0.378|
|5||Max Fewtrell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+0.399|
|7||Richard Verschoor||NLD||MP Motorsport||+0.502|
|8||Jake Hughes||GBR||HWA RACELAB||+0.587|
|9||Felipe Drugovich||BRA||Carlin Buzz Racing||+0.655|
|10||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||PREMA Racing||+0.664|
|11||Lirim Zendeli||DEU||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+0.698|
|12||Christian Lundgaard||DNK||ART Grand Prix||+0.781|
|13||Jüri Vips||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||+0.856|
|14||David Beckmann||DEU||ART Grand Prix||+0.898|
|16||Ye Yifei||CHI||Hitech Grand Prix||+1.309|
|17||Sebastian Fernandez||ESP||Campos Racing||+1.432|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Jenzer Motorsport||+1.444|
|19||Simo Laaksonen||FIN||MP Motorsport||+1.632|
|20||Raoul Hyman||GBR||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+1.673|
|21||Bent Viscaal||NLD||HWA RACELAB||+1.753|
|22||Keyvan Andres||IRN||HWA RACELAB||+1.801|
|23||Andreas Estner||DEU||Jenzer Motorsport||+2.134|
|24||Teppei Natori||JPN||Carlin Buzz Racing||+2.235|
|25||Alex Peroni||AUS||Campos Racing||+2.250|
|26||Liam Lawson||NZL||MP Motorsport||+2.631|
|27||Logan Sargeant||USA||Carlin Buzz Racing||+2.664|
|28||Fabio Scherer||CHE||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+3.715|
|29||Alessio Deledda||ITA||Campos Racing||+3.781|