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Ocon tops both European F3 practice sessions in Hungary

by Peter Allen
Esteban Ocon

Photo: FIA F3 European Championship

FIA F3 European Championship leader Esteban Ocon headed both free practice sessions at the Hungaroring.

The 17-year-old Frenchman was the only driver to dip below the 1m37s mark in the first of the 40-minute sessions, putting him 0.255s clear of second-placed Tom Blomqvist. Blomqvist lies second in the standings, 57 points adrift of Ocon.

Max Verstappen was third in the first session ahead of Italian duo Antonio Fuoco and Antonio Giovinazzi with Jordan King completing the top six.

Gustavo Menezes took seventh ahead of Jake Dennis, Felix Serralles and Roy Nissany.

The opening session was ended early after contact between Sean Gelael and Lucas Auer, who ended up 11th and 13th. Auer was forced to sit out the second session as a result.

Ocon lowered his own benchmark to a 1m35.801s in the second session. Second was Felix Rosenqvist, 0.224s slower. The Swede, who scored a long-awaited first win of 2014 in the Pau Grand Prix, had been 14th in the earlier session.

Fuoco was third ahead of Blomqvist, Verstappen and the impressive Menezes. King and Giovinazzi were next, with Dennis van de Laar ninth and Gelael tenth.

The grid has been reduced to 25 drivers this weekend due to the injury of Carlin driver Ed Jones and a split between EuroInternational and Riccardo Agostini. The Italian squad are only fielding Michele Beretta this weekend, but are set to have Santino Ferrucci join them for Spa once the American turns 16.

Practice results
Pos ?Driver? Team Session 1 Session 2
1 Esteban Ocon Prema Powerteam 1:36.881 1:35.801
2 Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Motorsport 1:38.370 1:36.025
3 Antonio Fuoco Prema Powerteam 1:37.532 1:36.329
4 Tom Blomqvist Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:37.136 1:36.472
5 Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Racing 1:37.403 1:36.522
6 Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Racing 1:37.926 1:36.584
7 Jordan King Carlin 1:37.739 1:36.612
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:37.569 1:36.620
9 Dennis van de Laar Prema Powerteam 1:38.612 1:36.632
10 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:38.189 1:36.932
11 Felix Serralles Team West-Tec 1:38.137 1:37.089
12 Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Racing 1:38.570 1:37.194
13 Jake Dennis Carlin 1:38.117 1:37.248
14 Roy Nissany Mucke Motorsport 1:38.186 1:37.332
15 Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports 1:42.839 1:37.345
16 Alexander Toril ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:38.588 1:37.601
17 Nicholas Latifi Prema Powerteam 1:38.207 1:37.613
18 Felipe Guimaraes Double R Racing 1:39.285 1:37.646
19 John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Motorsports 1:38.657 1:37.648
20 Hector Hurst Team West-Tec 1:38.418 1:37.648
21 Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Racing 1:38.827 1:37.732
22 Spike Goddard ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:39.254 1:38.095
23 Lucas Auer Mucke Motorsport 1:38.363 No time
24 Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Racing 1:41.223 1:38.800
25 Michele Beretta EuroInternational 1:40.467 1:38.919