Arthur Leclerc topped FIA Formula 3 practice on a drying Red Bull Ring in a session where drivers started on grooved tyres but ended on slicks.
Night showers meant the asphalt was still wet when cars went out on track for practice.
Trident’s Roman Stanek set the first reference lap with a 1m30.183s. However, the track started to dry meaning his benchmark was soon lowered.
MP Motorsport’s Alexander Smolyar went top of the times over 15 minutes in. The Russian —back in the championship after not being allowed to compete at Silverstone— set a 1m28.597s, which was half a- econd faster than his nearest competitor at the time.
Leclerc was the first driver to fit slick tyres halfway through practice. The Prema driver went out for an installation lap and came back to the pitlane for another set of soft tyres before going out again.
Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan was then the first driver to improve on the slick tyres, bettering Smolyar’s fastest time by 1.7 seconds. However, O’Sullivan was quickly beaten by Jenzer Motorsport’s William Alatalo, who set a 1m24.497s lap.
The timing screen went fully green with less than 10 minutes to go as everyone was improving thanks to the drying track, which gave room for lots of changes in the order.
ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins, who had moved up to first, had his best laptime deleted due to exceeding track limits at the last corner of the circuit. Leclerc took then the top spot, which he would retain until the end of practice after clocking a best lap of 1m20.171s. Smolyar and Trident’s Jonny Edgar completed the top three.
No major incidents happened during the 45-minute practice session in spite of track surface being slippery. Van Amersfoort Racing’s Reece Ushijima lost the control of his car under braking in the way up to turn three and spun, but rejoined quickly, and Smolyar stopped entirely at turn eight on his way back to the pits.
|2||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||1m20.284s||+0.110s||21|
|4||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m20.370s||+0.196s||20|
|5||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m20.389s||+0.215s||21|
|8||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m20.521s||+0.347s||24|
|9||Franco Colapinto||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m20.586s||+0.412s||24|
|11||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||1m20.615s||+0.441s||20|
|14||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m20.818s||+0.644s||22|
|15||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m20.835s||+0.661s||22|
|16||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz Racing System||1m20.912s||+0.738s||23|
|18||Juan Manuel Correa||ART Grand Prix||1m20.941s||+0.767s||21|
|19||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||1m20.942s||+0.768s||21|
|21||Ido Cohen||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.051s||+0.877s||25|
|22||William Alatalo||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.162s||+0.988s||25|
|24||Hunter Yeany||Campos Racing||1m21.408s||+1.234s||22|
|25||Zdenek Chovanec||Charouz Racing System||1m21.441s||+1.267s||23|
|26||David Vidales||Campos Racing||1m21.464s||+1.290s||22|
|27||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.768s||+1.594s||24|
|28||Laszlo Toth||Charouz Racing System||1m21.976s||+1.802s||23|
|29||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||1m22.019s||+1.845s||19|
|30||Reece Ushijima||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m29.589s||+9.415s||17|