Hitech GP’s Luke Browning set the pace in FIA Formula 3 free practice at Silverstone.
His team-mate Sebastian Montoya was first to set laps, and established an early 1m48.957s benchmark six minutes into the 45-minute session.
Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli was first to beat it, setting a 1m48.750s, then 11 minutes in MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto went to the top with a 1m47.099s that put him 0.048 seconds ahead of Trident’s Oliver Goethe and 0.815s clear of ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov.
Montoya improved to sit in fourth, and a third of the way into practice only nine drivers had set flying laps.
That increased to half of the field after 16 minutes, as Browning came to the fore with a 1m46.493s to move ahead of an improving Colapinto and Campos Racing’s Christian Mansell.
The only driver who could get close to Browning’s new benchmark was Campos’s Pepe Marti, who rose into second place and then at the session’s halfway mark topped the times with a 1m46.125s.
Bortoleto slotted into second, 0.080s behind, and Prema’s Dino Beganovic went third fastest. Browning was later shuffled down to fifth by ART GP’s Gregoire Saucy, but then returned to first place by breaking into the 1m45s.
At the same time there was drama as ART GP’s Kaylen Frederick had locked up at turn 16 and collided with Prema’s Zak O’Sullivan, resulting in losing his front wing. The briefest of virtual safety car periods was called so the wing could be collected, and just before that Hitech’s Gabriele Mini snuck into fourth place with a 1m46.223s laptime.
There was then little change on the timesheet for a while, until Bortoleto went second fastest with just over 11 minutes remaining. Three minutes later Beganovic improved to get back into third, while Browning also lowered his pace to 1m45.794s.
On Bortoleto’s next lap he cut Browning’s advantage down to 0.182s by joining him in setting a sub-1m46s pace.
After the chequered flag there were more improvements set, with Fornaroli and Saucy going fourth and sixth fastest respectively, while Rodin Carlin’s debuting Max Esterson got himself into the top 10 and less than half a second off the pace in his first experience of an FIA F3 car.
Free practice results
|1||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1m45.794s||15|
|5||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m46.125s||+0.331s||14|
|6||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m46.190s||+0.396s||16|
|8||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||1m46.223s||+0.429s||15|
|11||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m46.370s||+0.576s||16|
|12||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1m46.454s||+0.660s||18|
|13||McKenzy Cresswell||PHM by Charouz||1m46.455s||+0.661s||17|
|14||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m46.457s||+0.663s||18|
|15||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m46.473s||+0.679s||16|
|17||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m46.590s||+0.796s||15|
|18||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1m46.653s||+0.859s||16|
|19||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m46.688s||+0.894s||20|
|20||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1m46.749s||+0.955s||16|
|21||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m46.808s||+1.014s||19|
|22||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1m46.810s||+1.016s||17|
|23||Sophia Floersch||PHM by Charouz||1m46.945s||+1.151s||18|
|25||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1m47.126s||+1.332s||16|
|27||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m47.223s||+1.429s||17|
|28||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1m47.279s||+1.485s||6|
|29||Roberto Faria||PHM by Charouz||1m47.907s||+2.113s||14|
|30||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1m47.937s||+2.143s||15|