Kari Fastest in F3 Practice at Paul Ricard

by Chloe Hewitt

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

1Niko KariFINTrident1:51.305
2Robert ShwartzmanRUSPREMA Racing+0.044
3Leonardo PulciniITAHitech Grand Prix+0.134
4Jehan DaruvalaINDPREMA Racing+0.378
5Max FewtrellGBRART Grand Prix+0.399
6Pedro PiquetBRATrident+0.501
7Richard VerschoorNLDMP Motorsport+0.502
8Jake Hughes GBRHWA RACELAB+0.587
9Felipe DrugovichBRACarlin Buzz Racing+0.655
10Marcus ArmstrongNZLPREMA Racing+0.664
11Lirim ZendeliDEUSauber Junior Team by Charouz+0.698
12Christian LundgaardDNKART Grand Prix+0.781
13Jüri VipsESTHitech Grand Prix+0.856
14David BeckmannDEUART Grand Prix+0.898
15Devlin DeFrancescoCANTrident+0.942
16Ye YifeiCHIHitech Grand Prix+1.309
17Sebastian FernandezESPCampos Racing+1.432
18Yuki TsunodaJPNJenzer Motorsport+1.444
19Simo LaaksonenFINMP Motorsport+1.632
20Raoul HymanGBRSauber Junior Team by Charouz+1.673
21Bent ViscaalNLDHWA RACELAB+1.753
22Keyvan AndresIRNHWA RACELAB+1.801
23Andreas EstnerDEUJenzer Motorsport+2.134
24Teppei NatoriJPNCarlin Buzz Racing+2.235
25Alex PeroniAUSCampos Racing+2.250
26Liam LawsonNZLMP Motorsport+2.631
27Logan SargeantUSACarlin Buzz Racing+2.664
28Fabio SchererCHESauber Junior Team by Charouz+3.715
29Alessio DeleddaITACampos Racing+3.781

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