F3 at Monza


While the first of the two scheduled days of testing for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams and drivers had to be scheduled due to the adverse weather conditions, the 30 drivers finally could go out today to complete their testing programmes. The fastest driver at the tradition-rich 5.793-kilometre circuit located not far from Milan was William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport, 1:45.345 minutes), with Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam, 1:45.611 minutes) and Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam, 1:45.714 minutes) finishing second and third respectively.

At the beginning of the second day of testing, however, the teams and drivers once again had to wait in the garages as the track turned out to be a glassy skating rink when the light at the pit-lane exit was supposed to be switched green. Only around 11:00hrs, the sun had warmed the track to an extent that the final day of testing prior to the season kick-off could begin.

William Buller secured the position on the top of the time sheets only in the closing minutes of the test that had been extended by an hour. “This was a good day,” the Briton said afterwards. “Monza has got a completely different layout than Barcelona and nonetheless, I was quick at both circuits. We did a good job today and as I see it, things look rather promising, for the weekend.” Alex Lynn, the second-fastest of the tests, also was happy with his achievements. “We mainly focused on setting the car up for this track. The fact that we were among the quickest, nevertheless, is really nice. The approach of the squad demonstrates that Prema Powerteam has got a lot of experience.” Close behind the Briton, his team-mate Raffaele Marciello finished third, followed by Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational, 1:45.764 minutes) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing, 1:45.789). Italian Giovinazzi was delighted with having made it to the top five. “I know Monza well and like the circuit a lot. I truly look forward to the race weekend and think that a home race at the beginning of the season can be an extra boost.”

Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports, 1:45.869 minutes) impressed by setting the fastest lap time of the morning session. At the end of the day, however, the Brazilian had to settle for finishing sixth. “In the opening stages of the morning session, the conditions still were difficult and I took it easy,” he revealed. “But when the track dried more and more, I really went for. It’s nice to have secured one of the top positions but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s a pity that the first day of testing had to be cancelled due to the bad weather.”

Harry Tincknell (Carlin, 1:45.895 minutes), Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam, 1:45.994), Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports, 1:46.026) and Måns Grenhagen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:46.030) completed the top 10. Now, the young drivers and their teams will spend two days off at Monza before the Formula 3 European Championship season will be kicked off from Friday to Sunday at the same venue.