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
|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|
|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|
|12||Nikola Tsolov||ART GP||1m34.143s||+0.673s||19|
|14||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m34.206s||+0.736s||19|
|15||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m34.225s||+0.755s||19|
|17||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m34.372s||+0.902s||20|
|18||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m34.483s||+1.013s||19|
|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|
|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|