FIA Formula 3 – Armstrong sets the pace in Budapest

Marcus Armstrong was quickest on Day 1 of the final FIA Formula 3 pre-season testing today in Budapest, Hungary. The PREMA Racing driver clocked in a time of 1:31.411 to finish ahead of teammate Jehan Daruvala and Leonardo Pulcini of Hitech Grand Prix.
 
As soon as the pitlane opened for the morning session, all thirty cars fed onto the track for their customary installation laps. MP Motorsport’s Liam Lawson set the initial pace, but he was quickly toppled by Fabio Scherer. However, Pulcini who had lit up the second round of testing in Barcelona last week was back on top of the times, firing home 1:32.360 inside the first half an hour.
 
The morning’s first red flag came at 9.50am when Sebastian Fernandez stopped at Turn 6, but the session swiftly resumed with temperatures hitting the 13 degrees mark, on a dry morning at the Hungaroring.
 
Pulcini improved on his best time to lap the track in a 1:32.274 ahead of teammate Jüri Vips on 1:32.318. But Trident’s Niko Kari leaped in front of the Hitech Grand Prix pair with a best laptime of 1:31.799. 
 
There was a second red flag just over an hour later after Alex Peroni had lost control on the curb of Turn 11 and thumped into the barrier. Robert Shwartzman nabbed the top spot when the running restarted, with a time of 1:31.733.  Having dropped out of the top 10, Pulcini clocked in a laptime of 1:31.564 to beat Shwartzman’s best.
 
The saying goes that things come in three’s and there was a third red flag as the session began to draw to a close after Yuki Tsunoda stopped at Turn 12. When the green flag returned, there were still eight minutes to get back on track, but no one could beat Pulcini. Shwartzman classified second ahead of Kari, Vips, Raoul Hyman, Artem Petrov, Richard Verschoor, Fernandez, Armstrong and Jake Hughes.
 
The drivers picked up where they left off when they returned for the afternoon tests, once again hitting times of around 1m33s. Tsunoda lapped quickest at 1:32.427 on the half hour mark, closely followed by MP Motorsport pair Richard Verschoor and Simo Laaksonen who also broke the 1m33s barrier.
The session was briefly interrupted by a red flag when Jake Hughes stopped at the pit exit. There was little change in the order when testing resumed and the front three remained unchanged for the next hour, with teams working on their lap count. 
 
Laaksonen and Verschoor temporarily switched places before the latter set the  fastest laptime, with 1:32.303 – still some way off Pulcini’s morning pace of 1:31.564.
 
The order was given a shake-up by Hitech Grand Prix with just over half an hour remaining, as their duo of Pulcini and Ye Yifei leapt to 2nd and 3rd place. Yifei followed this up with an even better time in the subsequent lap to hike himself to the top of the leader board, with a time of 1:32.162. A red flag followed the reshuffle, as Shwartzmann stopped on track between Turns 11 and 12.
 
Very light drops of rain were spotted, but that didn’t deter Armstrong, who set his best time of the day in a lap that saw him jump to second on the standings. The PREMA driver followed this up with another blistering drive to dip under 1m32s for the first time that afternoon.
Armstrong was momentarily dislodged from first by Daruvala, but refused to be bettered by his PREMA teammate and beat the Indian’s time almost instantaneously, on his 50th lap.
The New Zealander ace remained on top at the chequered flag, followed by Daruvala in second and Pulcini in third. Lawson, Yifei, Fernandez, Logan Sargeant, David Beckmann, Tsunoda and Verschoor completed the top ten.
 
Day 2 will start tomorrow at 9am local time.
 
FIA Formula 3 Budapest Test – Day 1 Morning Session
 
 
DRIVER
TEAM
LAPTIME
LAPS
1
Leonardo Pulcini
Hitech Grand Prix
1:31.564
41
2
Robert Shwartzman
PREMA Racing
1:31.733
33
3
Niko Kari
Trident
1:31.799
29
4
Jüri Vips
Hitech Grand Prix
1:31.990
46
5
Raoul Hyman
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.132
46
6
Artem Petrov
Jenzer Motorsport
1:32.150
33
7
Richard Verschoor
MP Motorsport
1:32.157
31
8
Sebastian Fernandez
Campos Racing
1:32.207
19
9
Marcus Armstrong
PREMA Racing
1:32.241
34
10
Jake Hughes
HWA RACELAB
1:32.245
40
11
Jehan Daruvala
PREMA Racing
1:32.260
33
12
Pedro Piquet
Trident
1:32.287
33
13
David Beckmann
ART Grand Prix
1:32.294
35
14
Logan Sargeant
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:32.325
35
15
Felipe Drugovich
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:32.346
36
16
Yuki Tsunoda
Jenzer Motorsport
1:32.354
39
17
Fabio Scherer
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.471
52
18
Alexander Peroni
Campos Racing
1:32.491
20
19
Christian Lundgaard
ART Grand Prix
1:32.531
38
20
Liam Lawson
MP Motorsport
1:32.643
26
21
Devlin DeFrancesco
Trident
1:32.654
36
22
Lirim Zendeli
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.661
52
23
Simo Laaksonen
MP Motorsport
1:32.711
27
24
Ye Yifei
Hitech Grand Prix
1:32.794
46
25
Max Fewtrell
ART Grand Prix
1:32.932
37
26
Bent Viscaal
HWA RACELAB
1:33.060
39
27
Andreas Estner
Jenzer Motorsport
1:33.449
39
28
Teppei Natori
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:33.606
36
29
Keyvan Andres
HWA RACELAB
1:33.852
41
30
Alessio Deledda
Campos Racing
1:33.918
35
 
 
 
FIA Formula 3 Barcelona Test – Day 1 Afternoon Session
 
 
DRIVER
TEAM
LAPTIME
LAPS
1
Marcus Armstrong
PREMA Racing
1:31.41
52
2
Jehan Daruvala
PREMA Racing
1:31.857
49
3
Leonardo Pulcini
Hitech Grand Prix
1:32.054
44
4
Liam Lawson
MP Motorsport
1:32.069
36
5
Ye Yifei
Hitech Grand Prix
1:32.162
43
6
Sebastian Fernandez
Campos Racing
1:32.204
39
7
Logan Sargeant
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:32.246
39
8
David Beckmann
ART Grand Prix
1:32.268
48
9
Yuki Tsunoda
Jenzer Motorsport
1:32.275
47
10
Richard Verschoor
MP Motorsport
1:32.301
33
11
Max Fewtrell
ART Grand Prix
1:32.318
49
12
Simo Laaksonen
MP Motorsport
1:32.360
35
13
Jake Hughes
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.365
35
14
Artem Petrov
Jenzer Motorsport
1:32.436
48
15
Christian Lundgaard
ART Grand Prix
1:32.464
49
16
Jüri Vips
Hitech Grand Prix
1:32.685
38
17
Fabio Scherer
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.700
36
18
Niko Kari
Trident
1:32.700
38
19
Pedro Piquet
Trident
1:32.874
23
20
Lirim Zendeli
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:32.883
42
21
Devlin DeFrancesco
Trident
1:32.975
45
22
Teppei Natori
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:33.250
42
23
Alexander Peroni
Campos Racing
1:33.504
9
24
Keyvan Andres
HWA RACELAB
1:33.569
47
25
Bent Viscaal
HWA RACELAB
1:33.626
50
26
Andreas Estner
Jenzer Motorsport
1:33.648
42
27
Alessio Deledda
Campos Racing
1:34.264
41
28
Raoul Hyman
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:34.547
44
29
Robert Shwartzman
PREMA Racing
1:34.585
40
30
Felipe Drugovich
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:34.741
20

Press release FIA Formula 3

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