For the final time in 2020, FIA Formula 3 opened a grand prix weekend and it was Jake Hughes who took top honours as the drivers used all forty-five minutes to learn the Mugello circuit at the Tuscany Grand Prix.
Mugello is a new circuit to F3 but there wasn’t many drivers making big errors as they found their way around the track. David Schumacher had the only notable moment as he went for a trip through the gravel at Arrabbiata two in his Carlin.
Hughes is one of the few drivers to have driven here before and wasted no time in getting into his work. He set his fastest time early on and no one could find the time to overhaul him leaving him in a good position ahead of qualifying.
Lirim Zendeli found some time with his last lap of the session to go eight thousandths of a second slower than Hughes’ best lap with his Trident teammate David Beckmann also quick in fourth.
Beckmann is one of six drivers who can mathematically win the championship with Théo Pourchaire another just behind in fifth. Pourchaire is the best placed to challenge the PREMA duo of Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant but Beckmann needs plenty of fortune to keep his hopes alive.
Piastri and Sargeant have to deal with grid penalties they sustained during last week’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza and they will be nervous heading into qualifying as Sargeant was only eighth and Piastri down in thirteenth.
Liam Lawson is fourth in the standings but it was his Hitech GP teammate Dennis Hauger who was immediately on the pace; the Norwegian was third fastest as he searches for his first F3 win.
Lawson himself was tenth just behind the third PREMA of Frederik Vesti. He needs a miracle to put his name on the championship trophy so it will be gloves off for the Dane come race day.
Matteo Nannini was very quick in Monza but a collision early on in race one scuppered his chances as he battled for the lead; he was fast again here as he ended practice sixth ahead of Pourchaire’s ART teammate Sebastián Fernández.
|1||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||1:36:423|
|3||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||1:36:554|
|10||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||1:36:907|
|12||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||1:37:113|
|14||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1:37:168|
|16||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||1:37:315|
|21||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||1:37:575|
|23||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||1:37:944|