MP Motorsport’s rookie pairing of Caio Collet and Victor Martins topped the times in free practice for the FIA Formula 3 Championship finale in Sochi.
Collet set his best lap, a 1m54.087s, with five minutes of the session remaining. Although Martins improved on fresh tyres at the end to post a 1m54.170s, he was unable to dislodge his team-mate from the top of the timing screen.
ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti was third fastest with a 1m54.384s, just ahead of Ayumu Iwasa (Hitech GP) and Matteo Nannini (HWA Racelab).
Clement Novalak (Trident) was fastest in sector three on his final lap and rose to sixth place ahead of Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant who was another late improver.
Points leader Dennis Hauger, was only eighth fastest for Prema. However, he was on course to go to the top having set the best splits in the first and second sectors before hitting traffic in the final corners and backing out of his lap.
Title rival Jack Doohan was a further four places down in 12th, 0.192 down on Hauger although he also encountered traffic. His session ended on track as his car came to a halt in sector two.
Cool temperatures and the use of Pirelli’s hard compound tyres for this event resulted in drivers appearing to struggle for grip around the Sochi track. Several drivers had to use the run-off, including Iwasa and ART GP’s Alexander Smolyar at turn 13, while Hauger and Doohan also had moments early on and did well to stay out of the walls.
Free practice results
|1||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||1m54.087s||17|
|2||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||1m54.170s||+0.083s||17|
|3||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||1m54.384s||+0.297s||17|
|4||Ayumu Iwasa||Hitech GP||1m54.389s||+0.302s||17|
|5||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||1m54.395s||+0.308s||17|
|7||Logan Sargeant||Charouz Racing System||1m54.426s||+0.339s||18|
|9||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA Racelab||1m54.508s||+0.421s||19|
|11||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m54.601s||+0.514s||17|
|13||Roman Stanek||Hitech GP||1m54.663s||+0.576s||17|
|14||Alexander Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||1m54.683s||+0.596s||16|
|15||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||1m54.693s||+0.606s||18|
|16||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m54.839s||+0.752s||17|
|18||Juan Manuel Correa||ART Grand Prix||1m54.971s||+0.884s||17|
|21||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos Racing||1m55.245s||+1.158s||17|
|22||Tijmen van der Helm||MP Motorsport||1m55.433s||+1.346s||16|
|25||Laszlo Toth||Campos Racing||1m56.014s||+1.927s||17|
|26||Amaury Cordeel||Campos Racing||1m56.020s||+1.933s||17|
|27||Filip Ugran||Jenzer Motorsport||1m56.584s||+2.497s||18|
|28||Rafael Villagomez||HWA Racelab||1m56.632s||+2.545s||17|
|29||Ayrton Simmons||Charouz Racing System||1m56.681s||+2.594s||18|
|30||Zdenek Chovanec||Charouz Racing System||1m57.082s||+2.995s||18|