The penultimate round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship began with a surprise practice pace-setter in the form of Carlin’s David Schumacher.
The German, who moved from Charouz to the British team before last week’s round at Spa, was one of many drivers to have put on the soft tyres in preparation for qualifying while most of the regulars to the top ten remained on the carry over medium tyres from the previous round.
Schumacher is still yet to score a point in 2020, with his best finish being twelfth at the rain-shortened Styrian Grand Prix so he will be hopeful that he can keep this kind of speed going for qualifying to give him the best chance of his first points.
He was over two tenths of a second clear of everyone else, led by David Beckmann who received a handy tow on his carry over tyres on his way to second at his Trident team’s home race.
Another to opt for the soft tyres was Jack Doohan who has been plagued by poor qualifying all season and also has no points to show for it as a result. He led championship leader Logan Sargeant who could go a long way to secure the title this weekend with his rival Oscar Piastri down in twenty-first.
Olli Caldwell left it until the very end to jump up to fifth, he went 0.001s quicker than MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor who needs a much improved round after struggling to keep up with the leaders at Spa.
Verschoor was one of many drivers who visited the gravel traps around Monza as the young stars of the future pushed the boundaries. One very unhappy driver was Théo Pourchaire who didn’t hide his anger towards Michael Belov after the latter impeded the Frenchman’s lap.
Completing an encouraging session for Carlin, Cameron Das was seventh quickest and Clément Novalak ninth despite having his best lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at the Parabolica.
Sandwiching the two of them was Roman Stanek, another to opt for the soft tyres as did the Carlin duo either side of him, while Lirim Zendeli came off the back of his first F3 win at Spa with tenth.
While those in the top ten for the first time will be encouraged by the timing screens, they will be aware that the big hitters haven’t shown their true pace with Pourchaire, Piastri, Liam Lawson and others waiting to pounce.
|3||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||1:38:390|
|6||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1:38:522|
|15||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||1:38:872|
|17||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||1:38:937|
|18||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||1:38:943|
|19||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||1:38:964|
|22||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||1:39:059|
|28||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||1:39:647|
|30||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||1:40:174|