Russell leads the way in Silverstone practice

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George Russell has claimed the top spot in this afternoon’s free practice session in Silverstone, blasting past everyone as the session closed with a stunning lap to grab P1 in an ART block out of the top four places ahead of Nirei Fukuzumi, Jack Aitken and Anthoine Hubert.

In a very dark and ominous looking session the Mercedes F1 junior driver used all of his local knowledge to bring home a lap of 1:46.738 as the flag dropped, crushing his own best time as well as those of his rivals to take the top spot by over three tenths.

With rain threatening the circuit as the session opened all of the drivers except Bruno Baptista were straight out on track, with Niko Kari making the first competitive lap before Aitken claimed the top spot at the 8 minute mark and running even faster on his next circuit round. In a tight session Dorian Boccolacci was the next man on top, with Fukuzumi claiming it from him 20 minutes in, and then circulating even faster on his next lap.

The teams then concentrated on race pace until the closing minutes: Fukuzumi usurped his own top time with 3 minutes remaining just before Russell snuck ahead by a few thousands, with Aitken and Hubert setting their quickest laps right behind him before pitting, but as the flag dropped first Fukuzumi and then Russell went quicker again, building a bit of breathing room into their times.

Behind the ART foursome Leonardo Pulcini, Kari and Steijn Schothorst put their Arden’s next on the timesheets ahead of Giuliano Alesi, Julien Falchero and Santino Ferrucci rounding out the top ten: with many of the drivers back in the pits when the quickest laps were sent, tomorrow’s qualifying session is likely to look very different indeed.

Provisional Free Practice Classification

 Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:46.738

20

2.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:47.099

18

3.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:47.334

18

4.

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:47.377

19

5.

Leonardo Pulcini

Arden International

1:47.523

17

6.

Niko Kari

Arden International

1:47.556

18

7.

Steijn Schothorst

Arden International

1:48.054

18

8.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:48.193

20

9.

Julien Falchero

Campos Racing

1:48.372

17

10.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:48.378

16

11.

Dorian Boccolacci

Trident

1:48.490

18

12.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

1:48.697

18

13.

Marcos Siebert

Campos Racing

1:48.749

19

14.

Tatiana Calderon

DAMS

1:48.827

17

15.

Kevin Jörg

Trident

1:48.992

19

16.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:49.074

19

17.

Alessandro Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:49.366

15

18.

Raoul Hyman

Campos Racing

1:49.455

19

19.

Bruno Baptista

DAMS

1:50.004

8

source: gp3series.com

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