Nikita Bedrin was fastest once again in Formula 3’s final in-season test session at Imola on Wednesday afternoon.
The Jenzer Motorsport driver was fastest in both sessions on Tuesday, then second to Trident’s points leader Gabriel Bortoleto on Wednesday morning. In the afternoon he returned to the top by 0.221 seconds over team-mate Taylor Barnard.
The majority of the qualifying simulations took place early on due to rising temperatures meaning the track surface was over 40°C in the second half of the three-hour session, and the drivers who were on track were often doing longer runs.
Bedrin laid down a 1m31.577s benchmark straight away, putting him 0.180s up on Barnard 0.620s ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Tommy Smith.
Trident was the only other team with cars setting laptimes at that point, and after a quarter of an hour Bedrin was still in first place and now with a 1m31.536s as the time to beat. That would go unbeaten to the end, with Barnard and Smith not improving on the laptimes they set in the first five minutes but still ending the day in second and sixth place respectively.
Only 25 of the 30 drivers had put a lap on the timesheet after half an hour, with Hitech GP the last team to send its drivers out.
While the top two positions were locked in, there was competition among Trident’s trio to be third fastest after they bettered Smith’s pace.
Bortoleto led his team-mates and was 0.480s off the pace after three quarters of an hour, with Leonardo Fornaroli in fourth until Oliver Goethe set a 1m32.085s towards the end of the first hour.
Those laptimes solidifed their place in the order, then behind Smith in sixth there was also very little change until Hitech’s Gabriele Mini set a 1m32.724s to go seventh fastest – 1.188s off Bedrin’s benchmark pace – in the third hour of running.
Mini’s team-mates Luke Browning and Sebastian Montoya jumped up to ninth and 11th in the order at a similar time, and none of the three could then improve their pace although were one of the few drivers to utilise the hotter track. When the chequered flag came out, only Mini, Montoya, Prema’s drivers and PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roberto Faria were on track.
Afternoon session results
|1||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1m31.536s||47|
|2||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m31.757s||+0.221s||45|
|6||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m32.197s||+0.661s||34|
|7||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||1m32.724s||+1.188s||48|
|8||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1m32.886s||+1.350s||45|
|9||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1m33.034s||+1.498s||43|
|10||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1m33.122s||+1.586s||47|
|11||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m33.309s||+1.773s||20|
|12||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m33.533s||+1.997s||49|
|16||Sophia Floersch||PHM by Charouz||1m33.589s||+2.053s||42|
|17||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM by Charouz||1m33.979s||+2.443s||31|
|18||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m34.475s||+2.939s||30|
|19||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1m34.604s||+3.068s||61|
|20||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1m34.648s||+3.112s||42|
|21||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m34.686s||+3.150s||63|
|22||Roberto Faria||PHM by Charouz||1m34.698s||+3.162s||30|
|23||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m34.758s||+3.222s||44|
|26||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m34.984s||+3.448s||53|
|27||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1m35.107s||+3.571s||60|
|28||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1m35.271s||+3.735s||51|
|30||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m35.387s||+3.851s||63|