Formula 3

Hughes fastest in Practice at Spa

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Jake Hughes - HWA Racelab at the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship - Spa-Francorchamps - Practice
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA F3 Championship

Jake Hughes topped the timesheets in the Practice session for the sixth round of the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship.

Lirim Zendeli was the first to post a time in the session after six minutes before Devlin DeFrancesco set the first representative lap time a couple of minutes later with a 2:11.153. The Canadian was a tenth of a second clear of Liam Lawson, who was up to second by this point.

Giorgio Carrara, the least experienced driver out of all those on the grid, was next to top the timesheets with a 2:09.969, four tenths faster than second place Fabio Scherer.

Pedro Piquet jumped to first place moments later with a 2:08.421, half a second ahead of his Trident team-mate Niko Kari in second before David Beckmann was able to leapfrog the Finn.

The top five in the first fifteen minutes was Piquet in front of Beckmann, Kari and the two PREMA Racing drivers of Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong.

It was not long until the next change of leadership. Leonardo Pulcini went quickest by less than a tenth over Piquet before the Brazilian was able to reclaim top spot by more than three tenths.

Christian Lundgaard took his turn to go fastest on a 2:07.797, a further tenth in front of Piquet before Beckmann leapfrogged himself up to second. Max Fewtrell and Pulcini were fourth and fifth. The top twenty-eight were covered by just over two seconds.

Jake Hughes, who was one of the drivers to their first lap times the latest, jumped up into second position, 0.071s behind Lundgaard. As the drivers prepared for their final runs with over ten minutes left, the top ten was Lundgaard, Hughes, Beckmann, Piquet, Yuki Tsunoda, Pulcini, Fewtrell, Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala and Jüri Vips.

As the track got quicker, Scherer went eight tenths quicker than anyone else, as he put his Sauber Junior Team by Charouz to the top before Lawson took that away from him by 0.008s with four minutes to go.

Ye Yifei was next to take his temporary turn at the top on a 2:06.512, with Richard Verschoor elevating himself into second. Two minutes left and Alex Peroni in his Campos Racing moved up the order into first position by 0.035s before Hughes pulled out a stormer of a lap to go fastest overall by more than half a second.

Kari was behind in second and Peroni in third. Championship-leader Robert Shwartzman made hardly any improvement on his final run and ended the Practice session in twenty-third position.

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