Day two at the 4.226-kilometre Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was the last of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship pre-season tests. The fastest lap time was set by Red Bull Junior Daniel Ticktum (Motopark, 1:27.099 minutes), followed by Alex Palou (Hitech Grand Prix, 1:27.182), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1:27.195), Ferrari protégé Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1:27.195 / same time) and Jüri Vips (Motopark, 1:27.198). In the end, the gap between these five drivers who race for four different teams amounted to less than a tenth of a second.
Sixth position on the time sheets was secured by Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin, 1:27.225 minutes). The Renault Junior is happy with the preparations for his first full FIA F3 European Championship season. “Prior to this season I contested just two Formula 3 race meetings and therefore, I am fully aware that there still are a lot of things I have to learn. We used the test to improve me as a driver, work on the car and optimise the collaboration in the team.”
Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Grand Prix, 1:27.232 minutes), Fabio Scherer (Motopark, 1:27.234) and Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1:27,234 / same time) came seventh and eight. “The two days of testing at Misano were positive and enlightening,” revealed Schumacher. “Like always, working with the team and refining our findings was big fun. From our point of view the season may begin – we are ready. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1:27.24) completed the top 10 that featured four rookies.
Another rookie, Artem Petrov (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.647 minutes) finished 18th on the time sheets. “The FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a damned closed race series,” he said. “But I like that as it’s the best possible series for improving as a driver. I first of all have to work on my consistency but I feel good as the engineers are explaining me a lot. Team Van Amersfoort is working very professionally and that’s an approach I like a lot.”
With the pre-season tests being over, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams and drivers now are looking forward to the season kick-off that will be held in mid-May at Pau, Southern France.