Home Featured Prema’s O’Sullivan sets the practice pace in F3’s first visit to Melbourne

Prema’s O’Sullivan sets the practice pace in F3’s first visit to Melbourne

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Prema

Prema’s Zak O’Sullivan topped the times in FIA Formula 3’s practice session in Melbourne, marking the first time the series has visited Australia.

A red flag broke up running after an off for MP Motorsport’s Jonny Edgar at Turn 10, with a number of other drivers having smaller incidents at the same corner as they got to grips with what was a new circuit for all of them.

O’Sullivan went fastest late on in the session, then improved on his final lap to set a time of 1m33.470s, 0.042 seconds quicker than Campos Racing’s Mari Boya in second. 

It wasn’t a perfect session for the Prema driver. O’Sullivan found the gravel at the exit of Turn 10 early on, but managed to keep going and get back onto the circuit. Not long after, Edgar ran off at the same corner, but went just a few feet deeper into the gravel and hit the rear of his car against the wall.  

The red flag was brought out with Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini topping the timesheet at that point.

The track was cleared and running resumed with 20 minutes left on the clock. Mini found improvements on his earlier benchmark, but as laptimes continued to tumble he was dropped down the order. 

On his final lap of the session, Mini managed to go fastest in the first two sectors before a mistake in the final sector sent him through the gravel. He ended practice seventh quickest, 0.4s off O’Sullivan. 

Towards the top of the order, Gregoire Saucy managed to go third ahead of Pepe Marti, Gabriel Bortoleto and Luke Browning. 

Hugh Barter had an eventful session, spinning at Turn 14, but managed to get through without any damage. He placed eighth as Leonardo Fornaroli and Paul Aron completed the top 10. 

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 1m33.470s 20
2 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 1m33.528s +0.058s 19
3 Gregoire Saucy ART GP 1m33.671s +0.201s 20
4 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m33.731s +0.261s 20
5 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 1m33.761s +0.291s 20
6 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m33.797s +0.327s 19
7 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m33.941s +0.471s 19
8 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 1m33.958s +0.488s 20
9 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m33.973s +0.503s 19
10 Paul Aron Prema 1m34.008s +0.538s 19
11 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m34.084s +0.614s 19
12 Nikola Tsolov ART GP 1m34.143s +0.673s 19
13 Hunter Yeany Carlin 1m34.189s +0.719s 18
14 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.206s +0.736s 19
15 Christian Mansell Campos Racing 1m34.225s +0.755s 19
16 Oliver Goethe Trident 1m34.369s +0.899s 20
17 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m34.372s +0.902s 20
18 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m34.483s +1.013s 19
19 Ido Cohen Carlin 1m34.660s +1.190s 18
20 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.754s +1.284s 17
21 Kaylen Frederick ART GP 1m34.808s +1.338s 20
22 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.978s +1.508s 18
23 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport 1m35.180s +1.710s 17
24 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz 1m35.872s +2.402s 19
25 Ollie Gray Carlin 1m36.275s +2.805s 19
26 Piotr Wisnicki PHM by Charouz 1m36.483s +3.013s 18
27 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz 1m36.551s +3.081s 19
28 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport 1m36.684s +3.214s 7
29 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 1m36.798s +3.328s 13
30 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 1m37.147s +3.677s 17