FIA FORMULA F3 PRE-SEASON TEST
Serrallés sets first fastest test time for newcomer team West-Tec F3
In bright sunshine, the young drivers of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship completed their third official pre-season test day at the Red Bull Ring in Austria today. Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3, 1:25.244 minutes) from Puerto Rico ended up as fastest driver of the day at the 4.326 kilometres long track and ensured that the newcomer team topped the time sheets already after only its second official outing. Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Jogonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:25.328 minutes) was classified second, followed by compatriot Riccardo Agostini (Eurointernational, 1:25.617 minutes) and Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:25.657 minutes).
Contrarily to all the forecasts, the sun shone brightly all day long over the Formula 1 circuit in Styria. At the end of the day, Félix Serrallés emerged as the fastest driver and was very happy with the performance of his new team West-Tec F3: “This fastest time is very nice, of course, and even more so considering that we only had our car ready last week.”
Third-placed Riccardo Agostini was equally happy. With his time, he was the fastest rookie in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship; only Formula 3 stalwarts Serrallés and Giovinazzi were even faster at the Red Bull Ring. “After last week’s two days of testing at Hungaroring, we have made good progress and I am starting to feel well prepared for the season opener at Silverstone. I am also happy that I am now able to race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship after having tested only one day last season.” Agostini is also positive about the paddle-shift system, new for this season, with which drivers select gears by means of shift paddles behind the steering wheel: “It makes driving easier and safer, because we no longer need to take our hands off the steering wheel to shift gears.”
Fifth-placed Edward Jones (Carlin, 1:25.794 minutes) ended up as the second-fastest rookie in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on Tuesday. “I have learned from my experience after the two days of testing in Budapest and I have adapted my driving style to suit the car even better. Today, I was fast both in the morning and in the afternoon, which is very important. After all, I believe that consistency is the key to a successful season.” Jones was pleased with the paddle-shift system, too: “These technologies from Formula 1 are arriving in junior single seater series, which in turn is bringing them closer to the pinnacle. According to me, that is very important.”
Jones was followed by Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam, 1:25.847 minutes), rookie drivers Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam, 1:25.851 minutes) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:25.863 minutes) and Jordan King (Carlin, 1:25.956 minutes), plus novice Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam, 1:25.974 minutes).