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Blomqvist and Ocon top rain-hit Nurburgring practice sessions

by Peter Allen
Tom Blomqvist

Photo: FIA F3 European Championship

Tom Blomqvist and Esteban Ocon topped the times in the two free practice sessions for the ninth round of the FIA F3 European Championship at the Nurburgring.

Blomqvist set a time of 1m23.217 to top the opening session, 12 seconds faster than Ocon was able to go in the wetter second phase.

Championship leader Ocon was second quickest to Blomqvist in the first half of running, half a tenth adrift. The Frenchman leads the standings by 94 points, and can wrap up the title this weekend if he can build up a margin of more than 150.

Jake Dennis was third fastest ahead of Max Verstappen, who is competing in Red Bull colours for the first time.?Jordan King was fifth ahead of Antonio Fuoco, Gustavo Menezes and Ed Jones, while Dennis van de Laar and Felix Rosenqvist completed the top ten.

Verstappen finished up second to Ocon in the worse conditions of session two, just 0.019s slower than his rival.

Lucas Auer was third, seven tenths off Ocon’s pace and just 0.012s ahead of Mucke Motorsport team-mate Rosenqvist. Tatiana Calderon was fifth in her Jo Zeller-entered Mucke machine.

Fuoco was again sixth ahead of Jones, the final Mucke car of Roy Nissany, Felix Serralles and Jules Szymkowiak.

Spielberg winner Antonio Giovinazzi?suffered electrical issues throughout. Dennis crashed early in his running in the second session, as did newcomer Andy Chang, who has replaced Hector Hurst at West-Tec.

Fortec are not present, with John Bryant-Meisner having brought his campaign to a close after team-mate Mitch Gilbert had earlier departed for GP3.

Session results
Pos Name Team Session 1 Session 2
1 Tom Blomqvist Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:23.217 1:37.406
2 Esteban Ocon Prema Powerteam 1:23.268 1:35.614
3 Jake Dennis Carlin 1:23.388 1:40.987
4 Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Racing 1:23.416 1:35.633
5 Jordan King Carlin 1:23.655 1:37.758
6 Antonio Fuoco Prema Powerteam 1:23.674 1:36.909
7 Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Racing 1:23.760 1:37.212
8 Ed Jones Carlin 1:23.773 1:36.938
9 Dennis van de Laar Prema Powerteam 1:23.896 1:37.697
10 Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Motorsport 1:24.068 1:36.396
11 Nicholas Latifi Prema Powerteam 1:24.095 1:38.858
12 Felix Serralles Team West-Tec 1:24.113 1:37.008
13 Lucas Auer Mucke Motorsport 1:24.119 1:36.384
14 Alexander Toril ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:24.349 1:37.256
15 Roy Nissany Mucke Motorsport 1:24.507 1:36.949
16 Michele Beretta EuroInternational 1:24.567 No time
17 Spike Goddard ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:24.614 1:37.640
18 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:24.649 1:38.024
19 Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Racing 1:24.856 1:37.186
20 Santino Ferrucci EuroInternational 1:25.083 1:37.260
21 Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Racing 1:25.091 1:36.464
22 Andy Chang Team West-Tec 1:25.934 1:47.080
23 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:26.424 No time
24 Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Racing 1:32.167 1:40.619