Trident’s Oliver Goethe was the surprise pacesetter in a twice stopped FIA Formula 3 practice session at Monza.
Nine cars headed out straight away when practice began, but then went straight back to the pits, and next to hit the track were the Rodin Carlin trio, Campos Racing’s debuting Joshua Dufek and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Rafael Villagomez and Tommy Smith.
Francesco Simonazzi laid down the first laptime, a 1m55.414s, and a minute later Carlin team-mate Ollie Gray lowered the pace to 1m41.612s, with Ido Cohen just 0.054 seconds slower in the third of Carlin’s cars.
Dufek and Smith then traded third place, before the next improvements 10 minutes in. Gray set a 1m41.003s to lead Cohen by 0.027s and Simonazzi by 0.389s, before Dufek jumped ahead with a 1m40.661s.
A minute later the rest of the 30-car field, bar Hitech GP’s drivers, headed out and all but Dufek who were on track then went back into the pits to avoid being mired in traffic.
Cohen and Gray broke into the 1m40s on their final lap before pitting, and Simonazzi improved to 1m41.077s in fourth.
The track gripped up faster with more cars on it, and it only took two laps for the early benchmarks to be beaten by the drivers heading out.
Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli and MP Motorsport’s Mari Boya lapped in the 1m39s and MP’s Franco Colapinto went sixth fastest, then on the next laps Jenzer Motorsport’s Taylor Barnard set a 1m39.477s to lead Fornaroli by 0.272s.
Prema’s Paul Aron was 0.042s slower than Fornaroli in third, with VAR’s Caio Collet and Campos’s Christian Mansell also beating Dufek.
ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy snuck into fourth, Jenzer’s Nikita Bedrin went sixth and MP’s Jonny Edgar set a lap good enough for seventh just before red flags waved as Bedrin went off at the exit of the second chicane with plumes of smoke exiting his car’s airbox. The stoppage prevented Hitech’s drivers from setting a lap.
Action resumed 10 minutes later, with 16 minutes left on the clock. It took a few laps for everyone to get up to speed, and the first ‘improvement’ was from Hitech’s Sebastian Montoya as he actually put his first time on the board.
Moments later a pack of cars crossed the line and Boya and Colapinto moved into second and third place. Aron then reclaimed third, only for Saucy to set a new 1m39.276s benchmark.
Fornaroli got within 0.008s of that, but nobody else improved next time around on a very busy track.
With six-and-a-half minutes remaining, Colapinto set a 1m39.556s to go fourth fastest. Moments later he was eighth as Aron then Goethe went to the top, Hitech’s Gabriele Mini went third fastest and Trident’s points leader Gabriel Bortoleto slotted into sixth.
Session-ending red flags immediately followed, after Boya went wide in the middle of Parabolica, touched the gravel and then wrecked his car as it went into the outside barrier at the corner exit.
Free practice results
|3||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||1m38.981s||+0.304s||5|
|4||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m39.276s||+0.599s||8|
|7||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m39.477s||+0.800s||8|
|8||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m39.556s||+0.879s||8|
|10||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1m39.751s||+1.074s||5|
|11||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m39.847s||+1.170s||5|
|12||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m39.865s||+1.188s||10|
|13||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m39.867s||+1.190s||8|
|14||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1m39.919s||+1.242s||8|
|15||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1m39.925s||+1.248s||7|
|16||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1m39.985s||+1.308s||4|
|18||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1m40.048s||+1.371s||7|
|19||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1m40.162s||+1.485s||8|
|20||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m40.437s||+1.760s||7|
|21||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m40.650s||+1.973s||10|
|22||Joshua Dufek||Campos Racing||1m40.661s||+1.984s||12|
|23||Sophia Floersch||PHM by Charouz||1m40.718s||+2.041s||7|
|24||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m40.832s||+2.155s||8|
|28||Michael Shin||PHM by Charouz||1m42.357s||+3.680s||7|
|29||Roberto Faria||PHM by Charouz||1m42.889s||+4.212s||9|
|30||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1m43.794s||+5.117s||8|