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Antonio Fuoco heads F3 practice on home soil at Imola

by Peter Allen
Antonio Fuoco

Photo: FIA F3 European Championship

Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco posted the fastest time of the two free practice sessions ahead of the penultimate round of the FIA F3 European Championship at Imola.

After keeping their power dry in the midweek test, home team Prema demonstrated their speed in practice, with championship leader Esteban Ocon leading the first session with a time of 1m37.120s.

Fuoco was 0.038s behind in second place, with fellow Italian Antonio Giovinazzi third for Carlin and Nicholas Latifi making it three Prema cars in the top four.

Tom Blomqvist and Jordan King kept up Carlin’s representation near the front in fifth and sixth. Max Verstappen had a relatively subdued first session in seventh, ahead of Sean Gelael, Felix Rosenqvist and T-Sport newcomer Nick Cassidy.

Fuoco became the only driver to dip below the 1m37s mark in session two. Verstappen was 0.144s behind in second place ahead of Ocon, Rosenqvist and Latifi.

After his promising showing in the test, Jake Dennis was sixth ahead of fellow Britons King, Blomqvist and Will Buller – the latter driving for Signature on their F3 return. Alexander Toril provided more top ten representation for T-Sport.

The sessions were interrupted by a number of red flags, including crashes early on for Santino Ferrucci and Lucas Auer, as well as Rosenqvist at the very end.

Combined practice results
Pos Driver Team Session 1 Session 2
1 Antonio Fuoco Prema Powerteam 1:37.158 1:36.991
2 Esteban Ocon Prema Powerteam 1:37.120 1:37.140
3 Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Racing 1:37.373 1:37.135
4 Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Motorsport 1:37.676 1:37.151
5 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:37.200 1:38.055
6 Nicholas Latifi Prema Powerteam 1:37.243 1:37.336
7 Tom Blomqvist Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:37.303 1:37.729
8 Jordan King Carlin 1:37.311 1:37.592
9 Jake Dennis Carlin 1:37.811 1:37.530
10 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:37.674 1:38.078
11 Nick Cassidy ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:37.681 1:37.998
12 Will Buller Signature 1:38.171 1:37.767
13 Alexander Toril ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:37.773 1:37.843
14 Felix Serralles Team West-Tec 1:37.791 1:38.008
15 Dennis van de Laar Prema Powerteam 1:38.766 1:37.845
16 Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Racing 1:38.007 No time
17 Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Racing 1:38.041 1:38.166
18 Roy Nissany Mucke Motorsport 1:38.284 1:38.078
19 Richard Goddard ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:39.294 1:38.144
20 Ed Jones Carlin 1:38.270 1:38.362
21 Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Racing 1:38.520 1:40.087
22 Sergio Sette Camara EuroInternational 1:38.579 1:38.585
23 Michele Beretta EuroInternational 1:38.825 1:39.110
24 Martin Cao Fortec Motorsports 1:39.291 1:38.847
25 Andy Chang Team West-Tec 1:40.268 1:39.598
26 Santino Ferrucci Fortec Motorsports 1:41.018 No time
27 Lucas Auer Mucke Motorsport 1:41.239 No time