Saucy quickest for ART Grand Prix on first day of FIA F3 testing at Barcelona

Saucy quickest for ART Grand Prix on first day of FIA F3 testing at Barcelona

15.04.2022: ART Grand Prix rookie Grégoire Saucy topped the first day of in-season testing at Barcelona, with the Swiss racer beating Van Amersfoort Racing’s Franco Colapinto and ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins.


ART Grand Prix rookie Grégoire Saucy topped the first day of in-season testing at Barcelona, with the Swiss racer beating Van Amersfoort Racing’s Franco Colapinto and ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins.

Saucy set a 1:32.247 during a series of short runs on a sunny morning in Spain, beating Colapinto by 0.155s and Martins by 0.244s.


MP Motorsport’s Alex Smolyar went quickest during a long-run focused afternoon session, with the 20-year-old producing a 1:33.342 to finish ahead of his teammate Caio Collet and Trident’s Roman Staněk.






MORNING


Formula 2 had spent three days laying down some rubber in mostly cold conditions at Barcelona before Formula 3 hit the track on Friday morning in Spain. The sun was shining for the opening morning of the two-day test and almost all of the field headed out straight away for an installation lap.



David Schumacher had arrived as a late replacement for Ayrton Simmons in the Charouz Racing System at the two-day test and the German needed a seat fitting before getting out onto the tarmac. He managed eight laps towards the end of the session as he looked to get back up to speed with F3.



When the representative laps started flowing, Trident rookie Zane Maloney set the benchmark at 1:33.926 before his teammate Staněk broke the 1m 33s barrier to go top with a 1:32.678.



Isack Hadjar’s Hitech Grand Prix was one of two stoppages, with the Frenchman coming to a standstill at Turn 2 in the middle of the session. ART Grand Prix’s Matteo Nannini was the other, with the Italian stopping at Turn 10.



In-between the two Red Flags, Nannini’s teammate Saucy set the quickest time of the morning, the Swiss racer dropping a 1:32.247 to put himself at the head of the leaderboard.



Colapinto completed the most mileage in the morning, with 49 laps in total, and he also managed to set the second-fastest lap time. The Argentine was 0.155s off Saucy, with another ART driver, Victor Martins in third, 0.244s off his teammate.


Maloney found further pace to improve on his time but could only manage fourth overall, with the Barbadian 0.396s off Saucy. Maloney’s quickest lap knocked Staněk down to fifth place, with MP Motorsport’s Kush Maini in sixth.



Jenzer Motorsport’s William Alatalo was seventh, just over five-tenths off the pace, with David Vidales eighth for Campos Racing and Alex Smolyar in ninth for MP Motorsport. Despite his stoppage, Nannini still managed to set the 10th fastest time.




AFTERNOON



In an unlikely turn of events, given the gloomy weather experienced at F2 testing earlier in the week, the sun remained out for a second successive session. All 30 drivers made a swift exit from the pitlane when the light went green as they got stuck into a series of long runs.


MP Motorsport’s Collet set the baseline at 1:34.465, before being usurped by Hadjar at the midway point. The Brazilian broke the 1m 34s barrier to return to the head of the table but was swiftly overtaken by his teammate, Smolyar, who dropped a 1:33.342 to steal P1, knocking Collet to second.



Trident third-year Staněk punched in a late lap of 1:33.642 to beat Maini to third and prevent an all-MP top three. The Indian did, however, manage to hold onto fourth, 0.567s off his teammate in P1.



Hadjar had been nudged down to sixth when the final car returned to the pitlane, with the morning’s fastest man, Saucy, stealing fifth place.



Arthur Leclerc beat his PREMA Racing teammate, Jak Crawford to eighth as Oliver Rasmussen set a late lap to break into the top 10 and take ninth, ahead of the third PREMA, Ollie Bearman. VAR’s Colapinto was the busiest man on track for the second session in a row, completing 54 tours of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the afternoon.



The second and final day of in-season testing at Barcelona will begin at 9am (local time) on Saturday.





- Alexa Quintin, photos Formula Motorsport Ltd




Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/saucy-quick-art-gp-first-day-f3-test-barcelona---236395.html

15.04.2022 / MaP

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