Mücke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist and Carlin’s Harry Tincknell headed the practice sessions of the final FIA European Formula 3 round of the season today.
Title contender Rosenqvist set the quickest time of all – 1:33.692 – in the opening session, pipping Prema Powerteam’s Alex Lynn by less than a tenth of a second.
Behind Rosenqvist were Sven Muller (van Ammersfoort), Lucas Auer (Preman Powerteam) and Dennis van de Laar (van Amersfoort); all of whom set times in the 1:33.8s bracket.
Championship leader Raffaele Marciello ended the opening session 6th overall, some three-tenths off of Rosenqvist’s pace.
Nick Cassidy returns to the Formula 3 paddock this weekend, following the collapse of his deal with EuroInternational. The Kiwi replaces Daniil Kvyat at Carlin, while the Russian is on Red Bull duty in Russia.
Cassidy made his presence felt immediately. The substitute grabbed 7th in the times, heading relative new boy John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec). Eddie Cheever (Prema) and Pipo Derani (Fortec) rounded out the top ten.
Tincknell topped the slower second session in the afternoon with a best of 1:33.977 in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin. The Englishman headed Prema rival Lynn by two-tenths, with Cassidy making 3rd spot his own as the chequered flag flew.
Auer retained 4th place in session two; however Jordan King (Carlin), Tom Blomqvist (EuroInternational) and Nicholas Latifi (Carlin) jumped into the top ten, pipping Marciello (8th). Van de Laar and Cheever showed well again, with the duo capturing 9th and 10th respectively.
Rosenqvist fell back down the order in the latter session with the Swede managing a best of 1:34.587, giving him 13th place, some six-tenths down on Tincknell.
Guest drivers Kevin Korjus and Stefano Coletti endured tricky sessions as they bedded themselves into Formula 3 machinery, with the Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 Series members ending the first session 17th and 20th respectively. Korjus improved to 14th in session two, while Coletti dropped to 23rd in the standings following an off thanks to a puncture.
Andre Rudersdorf enjoyed precious little running during practice. Only twenty minutes into the session, the German ran off wide at the entry to the Stadium, lightly tapping the barrier as he scrubbed off speed.