And then it was wet – again, although at Silverstone there is a touch of inevitability about clouds closing.
By the time second practice had finished, the once threatening clouds had already settled much of their contents.
Filtering through Stowe, the wet-tyre shod Dallara’s tiptoed between the white lines, careful not to draw upon the green patches on the exit of some of the turns.
A few were not as careful though – the sound of wheels spinning, as rear ends fought for control were a touch common; however there was little in the way of malicious damage.
With such little testing now, others were just glad for the time in the car – Carlin’s Jordan King is one such example: “It’s a steep learning curve for me; I’d never driven here much. We’re not doing too bad of a job at the moment, so from that side of things, I think we’re doing OK.”
The 19-year-old finished runner-up in the Formula Renault NEC Series in 2012 and considering his relative lack of testing, the Carlin driver has acquitted himself very well. “In the winter, I only got about seven days worth of testing and pre-season testing, there was only two days, so on that side it was really condensed,” said King.
King added, “There’s the downforce, the tyres, the seating position is different and the gears – everything about it is all different, so you just have to get yourself settled, so you are not learning the car every time you go out.”
One of King’s Fortec rivals, Josh Hill, is focussing on the tyres too. “Previously, I had just used Michelin’s in the Renault championships, where as these [Hankook’s] last much longer and even when they peak, the drop off is very gradual. It may be all late laps that decides the grid.”
Apart from a few scattered Formula Two rounds in 2011, King has generally raced less powerful machinery, with much smaller downforce numbers. His fitness programme has needed to adapt, but the comments that conditions have yet to present him with a truly difficult physical drive.
“We’ve had Monza, which is very low downforce and it’s been wet, so you don’t the g-forces much, but in testing I was OK with the strength side of things, so I have never really had a problem with that.”
Come the end of second free practice, 28 drivers were pounding around the Northamptonshire / Buckinghamshire circuit, allowing the tarmac an opportunity to dry.
Times toppled with each tour, leaving a final running order that may not necessarily reflect the true nature of the order.
2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 2, Free Practice combined, April 12th) Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m10.632s 2. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 2m10.722s + 0.090s 3. Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m10.796s + 0.164s 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 2m11.001s + 0.369s 5. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 2m11.162s + 0.530s 6. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 2m11.259s + 0.627s 7. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc 2m11.295s + 0.663s 8. Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW 2m11.417s + 0.785s 9. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m11.678s + 1.046s 10. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m11.753s + 1.121s 11. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 2m11.957s + 1.335s 12. Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m12.004s + 1.372s 13. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 2m12.054s + 1.422s 14. Tom Blomqvist EuroIntern'l Dallara-Merc 2m12.071s + 1.439s 15. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m12.206s + 1.574s 16. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 2m12.225s + 1.623s 17. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.272s + 1.640s 18. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m12.433s + 1.801s 19. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 2m12.577s + 1.945s 20. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m12.765s + 2.133s 21. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m12.857s + 2.225s 22. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW 2m13.466s + 2.834s 23. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 2m14.310s + 3.678s 24. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 2m14.455s + 3.823s 25. Gary Thompson Ferraris Dallara-Merc 2m15.275s + 4.643s 26. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 2m15.956s + 5.324s 27. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 2m16.180s + 5.548s 28. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc 2m17.554s + 6.922s