Martins quickest on Day 1 of Barcelona test ahead of Doohan and Vesti

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MP Motorsport continued their impressive start to 2021, as Alpine junior Victor Martins finished fastest on Day 1 of pre-season testing in Barcelona, beating out Trident’s Red Bull junior Jack Doohan and ART Grand Prix’s Mercedes prodigy Frederik Vesti.

MP finished on top in the opening test of the season at Spielberg thanks to Caio Collet, but in Spain it was the Brazilian’s teammate, Martins, in first place, the young French driver dominating the day to finish at the top of the standings by nearly seven tenths.

Unable to touch Martins for pace, Doohan and Vesti were left to spar for P2 on the timesheets, finishing just 0.024s apart. MORNING Pirelli’s wet tyres enjoyed a run-out on the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, with rain coming down in the early hours of the morning and leaving the track a bit soggy at the start of the session.

Carlin Buzz Racing were the first team to send all three of their drivers out for anything more than an install lap, although it was MP who topped the timesheet in the opening half an hour as Collet got a feel for the circuit, lapping at 1:48.868.

The Brazilian then improved on his time to retain P1, running at 1:48.416. There was a brief stoppage as Roman Stanek came to a halt on track at turn 12 and brought out a Red Flag. Thankfully, Hitech Grand Prix were able to get the Czech back out there and he eventually finished in P8.

Carlin were amongst the first to switch to slicks as Jonny Edgar sliced the time down to 1:40.896, with his teammate Kaylen Frederik in third, nearly 2s behind. The rest of the field followed suit with a run of qualifying simulations, but it was Carlin who continued on top, as Edgar further cut his laptime down to 1:34.028, before his teammate, Frederik, eclipsed that time by 0.004s.

The duo were pushed down to second and third by Hitech’s Jak Crawford, who was the first driver to break the 1m 34s barrier, and by some distance, setting 1:33.247 to finish the morning on top.

Jak Crawford Hitech Grand Prix Formula 3 Testing Barcelona 2021 Day 1

Jenzer Motorsport’s Pierre-Louis Chovet – whose tally of 42 laps was the highest in theJenzer Motorsport’s Pierre-Louis Chovet – whose tally of 42 laps was the highest in themorning - nipped into second ahead of the flag, dropping the Carlin pairing one place further.

HWA RACELAB’s Matteo Nannini completed the top five, ahead of Chovet’s teammate FilipUgran and Charouz Racing System’s Reshad de Gerus.

Jenzer were the only team with allthree cars in the top 10, as Calan Williams finished ninth, ahead of HWA’s Oliver Rasmussen.AFTERNOONIt took less than an hour for ART racer Vesti to better Crawford’s best lap from the morning,dipping under 1m 33s for the first time at pre-season testing Barcelona.

MP teammates Martins and Collet started a sparring match shortly after, as they wrestled P1back and forth from one another. It was the former who eventually came out on top, beatinghis teammate with a time of 1:31.743.Collet dropped further down the order as Trident began a series of fast laps, with ClémentNovalak skidding into second ahead of Doohan.

Doohan and Vesti both had further attemptsand managed to make it up to second and third, but remained nearly seven tenths off theleading pace.Crawford succeeded in beating his own best time from the morning, but could only managefifth overall in the afternoon, ahead of Charouz’s Michael Belov.

PREMA Racing’s DennisHauger dove into seventh, pushing Collet down to P8 at the flag. Logan Sargeant and Smolyarcompleted the top 10.

The final day of pre-season will get underway at 9am (local time) on Thursday, with the 30-strong grid looking to firm up their preparations ahead of the season opener in Barcelona.