Home Featured Mick Schumacher heads first day of European F3 pre-season testing

Mick Schumacher heads first day of European F3 pre-season testing

by Peter Allen

Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher led the first day of Formula 3 European Championship testing at the Hungaroring, just ahead of series newcomer Alex Palou.

Schumacher, who is returning for a second season in European F3 with Prema after coming 12th in 2017, posted the day’s best lap of 1m34.304s in the morning session.

Palou, who has joined the series with Hitech, was just 0.081 seconds adrift in the morning and then lowered his time to top the afternoon session, this time only 0.044s slower than Schumacher’s benchmark.

Prema occupied four of the top five places in both the morning and overall, with Formula 4 graduate Marcus Armstrong third in front of F3 veterans Ralf Aron and Guan Yu Zhou.

The team’s fifth driver, Toyota Racing Series champion Robert Shwartzman, rounded out the top eight in the morning behind Macau Grand Prix heroes Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) and Dan Ticktum (Motopark).

Formula Renault Eurocup champion Sacha Fenestraz came ninth in the morning (ahead of Jonathan Aberdein) before taking second Palou in the afternoon.

Lapping 0.175s slower than Palou, Fenestraz’s lap put him sixth overall at the end of his first day in Renault Sport Academy colours.

His Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala – who has adopted Force India’s pink colours for this year – completed the afternoon top three with Schumacher in fourth.

Enaam Ahmed was sixth for Hitech, with exactly the same time as fifth-placed Zhou, and ahead of Ticktum, Aberdein, Aron and Armstrong.

The 23 drivers confirmed for the 2018 season took part in the first day of testing.

The FIA revealed a 24-car entry list earlier this week, with the addition of a third Van Amersfoort Racing car for an unspecified driver.

Sophia Florsch tested that car in the team’s private running at Portimao last week, but the team ran just its two signed drivers on Thursday.

Day one times

Pos Driver Team Morning Afternoon
1 Mick Schumacher Prema 1:34.304 1:34.656
2 Alex Palou Hitech 1:34.385 1:34.348
3 Marcus Armstrong Prema 1:34.404 1:34.792
4 Ralf Aron Prema 1:34.478 1:34.769
5 Guan Yu Zhou Prema 1:34.486 1:34.690
6 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin 1:34.798 1:34.523
7 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1:34.832 1:34.564
8 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 1:34.665 1:34.875
9 Enaam Ahmed Hitech 1:35.680 1:34.690
10 Daniel Ticktum Motopark 1:34.691 1:34.741
11 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1:34.734 1:34.804
12 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark 1:34.805 1:34.742
13 Juri Vips Motopark 1:34.882 1:34.937
14 Fabio Scherer Motopark 1:35.041 1:34.893
15 Marino Sato Motopark 1:34.916 1:35.331
16 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin 1:35.512 1:34.982
17 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing 1:35.195 1:35.058
18 Sebastian Fernandez Motopark 1:35.761 1:35.150
19 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin 1:35.701 1:35.168
20 Devlin DeFrancesco Carlin 1:35.591 1:35.305
21 Ben Hingeley Hitech 1:35.366 1:35.364
22 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing 1:35.978 1:35.822
23 Julian Hanses Ma-con 1:36.852 1:36.329