Well-balanced field on the final day of pre-season testing

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Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m22.950s) proved to once again be unbeatable on the second day of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship test at the 4.318-kilometre long Red Bull Ring. At the end of the day, the Briton was the only driver who broke the 1:23-minute barrier.

Behind Ilott, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m23,086s) Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.096s) and Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m23.098s) finished second, third and fourth respectively. Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.118s) and David Beckmann (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.130s) followed in fifth and sixth position. The gap between the quickest and the slowest driver amounted to less than 0.9 seconds, thus underlining the competitiveness of the entire field.

Maximilian Günther didn’t mind that he was bested by his team-mate Callum Ilott. “It was just a test and we focused on trying as many things as possible. Trying to set the fastest possible lap time wasn’t high on our priority list. With the update provided by Dallara, the cars now feature different aerodynamics and also are somewhat heavier.

So you can’t rest on yesterday’s laurels, but have to work on understanding the cars in their new configuration.” Nonetheless, the German admitted that it was a good feeling to have secured one of the top positions on the time sheets. “It feels nice although we don’t yet know what it will be worth in the end. But we will find out in the qualifying session at Silverstone.”

Jake Hughes who finished third behind Günther on the final day of pre-season testing shared the German’s opinion. “We successfully completed our schedule and I’d say that I’ve also improved as a driver. But we will only find out in the first qualifying session of the season where we really stand. I think that the days of testing mainly were important for gathering as much data as possible with the upgraded car. The engineers now will analyse this data to provide us with the optimum car for Silverstone.”

Joel Eriksson travels back to Sweden with the fourth place on the final day of testing under his belt. “Everything ran fine so far, I even set my fastest lap time on a used set of tyres. I feel ready for the first race of the season.”

Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.147s) who switched from the Japanese F3 Championship to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship secured seventh place behind Harrison Newey and David Beckmann. “The level in the European Championship is clearly higher than in Japan,” he said. “I’m looking forward to now having the chance of battling it out with these competitive drivers.”

Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m23.169s) came eighth, with the best rookie, Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing. 1m23.211s) following in ninth position and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.222s) completing the top 10. “I think that I made a big step forward, in the off-season and will be more competitive, this year,” said the Brazilian.

“In addition, it is also nice that all four Van Amersfoort drivers made it to the top 10, thus demonstrating that we are racing on the same performance level. We all will benefit from this well-balanced competitiveness level in our team.”

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