Schumacher tops opening day of F3 testing
Mick Schumacher topped the opening day of official pre-season European Formula 3 testing.
The son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher set the day’s overall fastest time during the opening hour of running at the Hungaroring, and it remained unbeaten by the 23-car field after a total of five and a half hours split across two sessions.
Schumacher, who took one podium finish in his rookie F3 season last year, whisked his Prema Powerteam-run car around to head the Hitech GP version driven by Alex Palou by 0.081 seconds in the short, two-hour morning session.
Palou led most of the longer afternoon period, and then lowered his time in a run towards the end of the day to end up just 0.044s adrift of Schumacher’s morning effort.
Apart from Schumacher, Prema had three more drivers in the top five, with reigning Italian Formula 4 champion and Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong pipping third-year F3 racers Ralf Aron and Guan Yu Zhou to the third-quickest time, all set during the opening hour of the day.
Most of Carlin’s drivers set their quickest times in the afternoon, with Formula Renault Eurocup champion Sacha Fenestraz and Force India protege Jehan Daruvala ending that period second and third, their times putting them sixth and seventh on the day.
The exception was Ferdinand Habsburg, who was the top Carlin runner in the morning but went no faster in the afternoon, slipping to eighth overall.
Enaam Ahmed, winner of the 2017 BRDC F3 title, made a vast improvement in the afternoon to plant his Hitech car in sixth place in session, ninth on the day.
Ahmed’s performance also meant he shaded Macau Grand Prix victor and Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum’s morning effort by 0.001s.
Ticktum headed the six-strong Motopark team, but only by a few hundredths from South African Jonathan Aberdein, who is a graduate of German F4.
The test continues on Friday, before the short trip to the Red Bull Ring for more running next Monday and Tuesday.
Carlin adds Vaidyanathan to F3 line-up
Palou tops second day of Hungary F3 test