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GP3 Pre-Season Testing (Silverstone, March 29th)

March 30, 2011

Silverstone Arena Circuit.

Valtteri Bottas and Gabby Chaves topped the first day of GP3 pre-season testing at Silverstone.

Bottas, piloting the Lotus ART GP Dallara, headed the morning with a best of 1:51.608 amidst a 32 lap stint.
The Finn pipped Antonio Felix da Costa who spent much of the session lingering at the the head of the sheets; however the Portuguese runner would later drop to 6th in the standings.
While da Costa may be slightly disappointed to have slipped down the order, he might take some solace from being the busiest driver of the morning after a 41 lap run.

In the end, it was Lewis Williamson that took 2nd spot in his MW Arden machine, falling some eight-hundredths shy of Bottas, while Nigel Melker took 3rd in his RSC Mücke prepared machine.
Both Simon Trummer (4th, MW Arden) and Nico Muller (5th, Jenzer Motorsport) completed 26 laps and even set best times only 0.015 of-a-second apart, as they nudged ahead of da Costa by mere thousandths.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took 7th in Marussia Manor machine, some three-tenths down on Bottas after a 20 lap run. Marlon Stockinger (8th, Atech CRS), James Calado (9th) and Pedro Nunes (both Lotus ART) rounded out the top ten.
Late running was curtailed by a Quaife-Hobbs induced red flag.

Unkind weather made the afternoon something more akin to a trial; however new GP3 arrival Gabby Chaves registered the quickest lap of the day before droplets fell. The Addax driver clocked up a best lap of 1:51.449 – just over a tenth quicker than Nico Muller, with Williamson a further few hundredths in arrears.
Alexander Sims (Status GP) finished the session some three-tenths shy of the pace, yet Sims may well be happy he got at least 24 laps in. Less happy will be Stockinger, who only managed 11 tours before the rain cam – his best of 1:51.775 left him 6th.

Vittorio Ghirelli visited the top-ten after lunch for Jenzer Motorsport. The 16-year-old Italian completed 26 laps, while also finishing ahead of Virgin F1 reserve Rio Haryanto (8th, Marussia Manor Racing). Trummer (9th) and Tom Dillmann (Carlin) completed the top-ten.
A brief red flag flew during the afternoon, caused by Mitch Evans (MW Arden), before another stoppage was hailed by Carlin youngster Kotaro Sakurai.

Bottas struggled to carry his morning run through to the afternoon. The Finn ended the session down in 19th, after running 31 laps prior to the chequered flag.

Morning times:

Pos  Driver                     Team                     Time      Laps
 1.  Valtteri Bottas            Lotus ART                1:51.608    32
 2.  Lewis Williamson           MW Arden                 1:51.688    31
 3.  Nigel Melker               RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:51.755    28
 4.  Simon Trummer              MW Arden                 1:51.801    26
 5.  Nico Muller                Jenzer Motorsport        1:51.816    26
 6.  Antonio Felix da Costa     Status Grand Prix        1:51.821    41
 7.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs        Marussia Manor Racing    1:51.920    20
 8.  Marlon Stockinger          Atech CRS GP             1:52.017    27
 9.  James Calado               Lotus ART                1:52.025    33
10.  Pedro Nunes                Lotus ART                1:52.053    34
11.  Michael Christensen        RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:52.213    35
12.  Rio Haryanto               Marussia Manor Racing    1:52.348    25
13.  Nick Yelloly               Atech CRS GP             1:52.422    18
14.  Mitch Evans                MW Arden                 1:52.505    32
15.  Alexander Sims             Status Grand Prix        1:52.510    25
16.  Tamas Pal Kiss             Tech 1 Racing            1:52.518    30
17.  Aaro Vainio                Tech 1 Racing            1:52.556    25
18.  Gabby Chaves               Addax Team               1:52.563    28
19.  Conor Daly                 Carlin                   1:52.777    33
20.  Matias Laine               Marussia Manor Racing    1:52.794    34
21.  Andrea Caldarelli          Tech 1 Racing            1:52.803    34
22.  Vittorio Ghirelli          Jenzer Motorsport        1:52.935    31
23.  Willi Steindl              RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:52.955    32
24.  Kotaro Sakurai             Carlin                   1:53.009    28
25.  Zoel Amburg                Atech CRS GP             1:53.315    38
26.  Maxim Zimin                Jenzer Motorsport        1:53.490    27
27.  Thomas Hylkema             Addax Team               1:53.563    40
28.  Tom Dillmann               Carlin                   1:53.858    31
29.  Ivan Lukashevich           Status Grand Prix        1:54.344    36
30.  Fernando Monje             Addax Team               1:54.504    35

Afternoon times

Pos  Driver                     Team                     Time     Laps
 1.  Gabby Chaves               Addax Team               1:51.449   22
 2.  Nico Muller                Jenzer Motorsport        1:51.596   19
 3.  Lewis Williamson           MW Arden                 1:51.641   27
 4.  Alexander Sims             Status Grand Prix        1:51.752   24
 5.  Marlon Stockinger          Atech CRS GP             1:51.775   11
 6.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs        Marussia Manor Racing    1:51.981   28
 7.  Vittorio Ghirelli          Jenzer Motorsport        1:52.328   26
 8.  Rio Haryanto               Marussia Manor Racing    1:52.472   30
 9.  Simon Trummer              MW Arden                 1:52.538   24
10.  Tom Dillmann               Carlin                   1:52.557   19
11.  Mitch Evans                MW Arden                 1:52.741   22
12.  Michael Christensen        RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:52.770   25
13.  James Calado               Lotus ART                1:52.886   29
14.  Antonio Felix da Costa     Status Grand Prix        1:52.940   23
15.  Fernando Monje             Addax Team               1:52.976   22
16.  Pedro Nunes                Lotus ART                1:53.021   30
17.  Thomas Hylkema             Addax Team               1:53.081   18
18.  Matias Laine               Marussia Manor Racing    1:53.214   23
19.  Valtteri Bottas            Lotus ART                1:53.249   31
20.  Aaro Vainio                Tech 1 Racing            1:53.263   19
21.  Maxim Zimin                Jenzer Motorsport        1:53.436   24
22.  Zoel Amberg                Atech CRS GP             1:53.682   24
23.  Willi Steindl              RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:53.803   27
24.  Tamas Pal Kiss             Tech 1 Racing            1:53.895   27
25.  Kotaro Sakurai             Carlin                   1:53.941   11
26.  Andrea Caldarelli          Tech 1 Racing            1:53.980   21
27.  Nigel Melker               RSC Mucke Motorsport     1:53.989   27
28.  Conor Daly                 Carlin                   1:54.967   15
29.  Nick Yelloly               Atech CRS GP             1:55.075   20
30.  Ivan Lukashevich           Status Grand Prix        1:59.785   19
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