Pedro Piquet tops the times in first ever F3 free practice

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Pedro Piquet roared around the track to steal the fastest time right at the death during an trouble-free first FIA Formula 3 free practice session in Barcelona, Spain.
The Trident driver set 1:33.255 at the chequered flag to put him ahead of Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips and PREMA’s Robert Shwartzman.
 
Leonardo Pulcini who had set the pace during pre-season testing on the Spanish track laid down an early gauntlet with a time of 1:35.794, in the 17 degree morning heat. He was soon toppled by Alex Peroni though who was closing in on the 1m 35s mark.
 
There was no love lost between an extremely competitive pack: David Beckmann was held up by Fabio Scherer in his attempts to climb up the leaderboard and the German clipped the back of the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz driver in an unsuccessful overtake move. With Beckmann back in the pits for a front wing change, Christian Lundgaard made no mistake in his bid for P1 and broke the 1m 35s barrier.
 
PREMA’s Jehan Daruvala briefly nabbed P1, before Shwartzman set the time to beat and dipped under 1m 34s for the first time. Behind the leader, Marcus Armstrong, Simo Laaksonen and Beckmann were battling to make up the top three before Jake Hughes reminded everyone of his lap speed to take P2. The British driver narrowly missed out on top spot in the final sector. 
 
Shwartzman appeared unmovable from his perch as the clock ticked down. It wasn’t until the final moments that the Russian was knocked down the order, as Piquet and Vips flew around the track to snatch first and second, with just 0.009s between them. Piquet’s time of 1:33.255 was enough to seal P1 and he was followed by Vips, Shwartzman, Niko Kari, Hughes, Logan Sargeant, Armstrong, Laaksonen, Beckmann and Ye Yifei.
 
Having enjoyed their first taste of an F3 race weekend, the drivers and teams will look to continue their early competitiveness in qualifying at 5.50pm local time.
 
Free Practice classification
 
 Pos 
DRIVER
TEAM
LAPTIME
LAPS
1
Pedro Piquet
Trident
1:33.255
15
2
Jüri Vips
Hitech Grand Prix
1:33.264
19
3
Robert Shwartzman
PREMA Racing
1:33.510
14
4
Niko Kari
Trident
1:33.519
15
5
Jake Hughes
HWA RACELAB
1:33.766
17
6
Logan Sargeant
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:33.923
15
7
Marcus Armstrong
PREMA Racing
1:33.923
14
8
Simo Laaksonen
MP Motorsport
1:33.938
16
9
David Beckmann
ART Grand Prix
1:34.059
15
10
Ye Yifei
Hitech Grand Prix
1:34.144
20
11
Jehan Daruvala
PREMA Racing
1:34.211
15
12
Christian Lundgaard
ART Grand Prix
1:34.237
15
13
Devlin DeFrancesco
Trident
1:34.301
16
14
Bent Viscaal
HWA RACELAB
1:34.321
17
15
Max Fewtrell
ART Grand Prix
1:34.301
16
16
Felipe Drugovich
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:34.475
15
17
Richard Verschoor
MP Motorsport
1:34.608
16
18
Keyvan Andres
HWA RACELAB
1:34.755
15
19
Lirim Zendeli
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:34.860
19
20
Teppei Natori
Carlin Buzz Racing
1:34.877
17
21
Alex Peroni
Campos Racing
1:35.038
17
22
Liam Lawson
MP Motorsport
1:35.053
13
23
Sebastian Fernandez
Campos Racing
1:35.139
7
24
Leonardo Pulcini
Hitech Grand Prix
1:35.192
19
25
Andreas Estner
Jenzer Motorsport
1:35.219
21
26
Yuki Tsunoda
Jenzer Motorsport
1:35.573
16
27
Raoul Hyman
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:35.725
16
28
Artem Petrov
Jenzer Motorsport
1:35.814
18
29
Fabio Scherer
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
1:36.140
15
30
Alessio Deledda
Campos Racing
1.36.241
16
 

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