Swede Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m34.987s), the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader, got his fourth racing weekend of the season off to an excellent start. In free practice at the 4.381 kilometres long Hungaroring, nobody was faster than the Motopark team driver. Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.222s), Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.334s), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m35.384s) and Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m35.385s) were classified in second to fifth place.
A slight drizzle set in only minutes before free practice of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship got underway. Thus, the drivers initially had to deal with a damp track, although it dried out over the course of the 80 minutes’ session. With some 20 minutes remaining, Eriksson moved up into the top position that he only briefly lost to Lando Norris. Eventually, BMW junior driver Eriksson had an advantage of 0.235 seconds from his closest rival Callum Ilott.
Ferrari protégé Guanyu Zhou was classified third from the best-placed rookie, Jehan Daruvala. The Indian, who is supported by the Force India Formula 1 team and already has one FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole position to his name, just kept his team-mate Lando Norris at bay. The times of the two youngsters were only one thousandth of a second apart. Behind McLaren junior driver Norris, who ended up as the second-best rookie in free practice, Australian Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m35.483s) was classified as the third-best F3 newcomer in sixth place. In seventh position, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.500s) led a trio of German drivers that also included eighth-placed David Beckmann (Motopark, 1m35.507s) and rookie driver Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam, 1m35.563s). Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1m35.573s) rounded out the top ten.
Now, teams and drivers will be involved in analysing data and optimising their cars and driving styles, before the starting grid positions for the first race at the Hungaroring will be determined in first qualifying from 18.00 hrs today.