Home Featured Pedro Piquet fastest by 0.009s in practice for new-look FIA F3

Pedro Piquet fastest by 0.009s in practice for new-look FIA F3

by Kyran Gibbons

Photo: Malcolm Griffiths / FIA F3

Trident’s Pedro Piquet narrowly edged European Formula 3 race-winner Juri Vips to top the timesheet in the opening practice session of the new-look FIA Formula 3 at Barcelona.

Fellow European F3 star and Ferrari Formula 1 junior Robert Shwartzman held top spot for the majority of the session with Prema, and was the first driver to lap below the 1m35s threshold.

His rapid benchmark time was toppled in the final minutes of the session by GP3 race-winner Piquet. The Brazilian posted a 1m33.255s time to end the 45-minute session fastest.

Red Bull junior Vips was another driver to vault up the order late on. Driving for Hitech GP, which with Prema has joined the championship from European F3, Vips missed out on first place by 0.009s.

Shwartzman ended up third, narrowly ahead of the second Trident car of GP3 veteran Niko Kari.

Jake Hughes, who struggled to make the Pirelli tyres work during a lacklustre 2018 GP3 season, lost time in the final sector but still ended up fifth fastest for HWA Racelab. The German team is new to conventional single-seaters, having raced in touring cars for several decades.

Carlin, making its return to F1’s secondary support series since 2015, ended up in sixth place with Formula Renault Eurocup graduate Logan Sargeant, ahead of Prema’s Marcus Armstrong.

Reigning GP3 champion team ART Grand Prix – the squad which scooped all but one of the nine teams’ titles – failed to factor at the top. David Beckmann’s session involved an early tangle with Sauber junior Fabio Scherer, where the German tagged the back of Scherer’s car and damaged his front wing.

He quickly returned to the track and was briefly fastest before slipping back to ninth. ART team-mates and Renault juniors Christian Lundgaard and Max Fewtrell were 12th and 15th.

Pre-season pacesetter Leonardo Pulcini set his fastest time early in the session but ended up 24th for Hitech.


Free Practice results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Pedro Piquet Trident 1m33.255s
2 Juri Vips Hitech GP +0.009s
3 Robert Shwartzman Prema +0.255s
4 Niko Kari Trident +0.264s
5 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab +0.511s
6 Logan Sargeant Carlin +0.624s
7 Marcus Armstrong Prema +0.668s
8 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport +0.683s
9 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix +0.804s
10 Yifei Ye Hitech GP +0.889s
11 Jehan Daruvala Prema +0.956s
12 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +0.982s
13 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident +1.046s
14 Bent Viscaal HWA Racelab +1.066s
15 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix +1.112s
16 Felipe Drugovich Carlin +1.220s
17 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +1.353s
18 Keyvan Andres HWA Racelab +1.500s
19 Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +1.605s
20 Teppei Natori Carlin +1.622s
21 Alex Peroni Campos Racing +1.783s
22 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport +1.798s
23 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing +1.884s
24 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP +1.937s
25 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport +1.964s
26 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport +2.318s
27 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +2.470s
28 Artem Petrov Jenzer Motorsport +2.559s
29 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +2.885s
30 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing +2.986s