Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini pipped ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy on the second afternoon of FIA Formula 3’s pre-season test at Bahrain.
Trident’s Oliver Goethe was the early pacesetter, but had been shuffled down to fourth after 10 minutes as Campos Racing duo Christian Mansell and Pepe Marti and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Tommy Smith moved into the top three places.
Goethe reclaimed third place after 10 minutes, only to lose it seconds later to Hitech’s Luke Browning who is the only driver at the test not to be confirmed in an F3 seat for the upcoming season. Goethe was then knocked down to fifth as Hugher Barter went fourth fastest and made it three Campos drivers in the top four.
The order at the top changed two minutes later, as Marti set a 1m50.181s to take first place and Mansell improved with a 1m50.423s lap in second place. Barter also improved, but stayed in fourth.
PHM Racing by Charouz’s Piotr Wisnicki went sixth fatest 18 minutes into the session, while his team-mates Sophia Floersch and Roberto Faria remained in the pits through the first 45 minutes of the two-and-a-half hour session.
That opening 45 minutes was punctuated by two red flag stoppages that had just two minutes of green flag action take place between them, and put morning pacesetter Gregoire Saucy (ART GP) and Ollie Gray (Rodin Carlin) out of action for some time, and Marti stayed on top throughout by improving to 1m49.939s.
Approaching the end of the first hour there was change at the top, as Smith bettered Marti by 0.07s and Barter moved into third place for three minutes before Mansell regained the place. Wisnicki and Floersch went fifth and sixth fatest, but Faria continued to stay in the team’s garage.
A new name appeared at the top as the second hour started, as Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli went fastest by 0.283 seconds with a 1m49.586s lap.
His time went unbeaten for over half an hour before Mini became the first driver to lap in the 1m48s. He was only on top for a minute though, as Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto went over half a second faster and his team-mates Goethe and Fornaroli also improved in third and fourth.
VAR’s Caio Collet went a tenth slower than Bortoleto to slot into second place with 39 minutes left on the clock, then Mini returned to first place by two tenths.
Soon his Hitech team-mates were lapping at a similar pace, with Sebastian Montoya going second fastest and Browning putting himself fourth.
Mini’s 1m48.175s lap would not be bettered, although Saucy came close when he eventually returned to track. He came short of being fastest in four sessions out of four in testing by just 0.036s, while Collet was only 0.143s off Mini with an imprvement that put him fourth.
Faria eventually left the pits after almost two hours, and went on to set 15 laps to go 26th fastest.
Afternoon session results
|1||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||1m48.175s||29|
|2||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m48.211s||+0.036s||16|
|3||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m48.274s||+0.099s||34|
|7||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1m48.487s||+0.312s||31|
|8||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m48.489s||+0.314s||28|
|12||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1m48.821s||+0.646s||34|
|13||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1m48.831s||+0.656s||36|
|14||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m48.923s||+0.748s||29|
|15||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m48.931s||+0.756s||33|
|16||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1m48.983s||+0.808s||32|
|19||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1m49.196s||+1.021s||25|
|20||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1m49.838s||+1.663s||32|
|22||Sophia Floersch||PHM Racing by Charouz||1m49.991s||+1.816s||24|
|24||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz||1m50.064s||+1.889s||25|
|26||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz||1m50.391s||+2.216s||15|
|27||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m51.554s||+3.379s||35|
|28||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1m52.145s||+3.970s||31|
|29||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1m52.509s||+4.334s||32|