“FIA F3: Rookies Verstappen and Fuoco head opening sessions”

FIA European F3 Championship rookies Max Verstappen and Antonio Fuoco headed the opening practice sessions at Silverstone this morning.

Verstappen – son of former Formula One driver Jos – and Fuoco – a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy – took turns at showing maximum pace, while another rookie, Esteban Ocon, assumed 2nd spot in both practices.

Fuoco headed the opening practice for Prema, with the Italian teenager registering a best of 1:52.323s; less than one-tenth quicker than Ocon (Prema), Verstappen (Van Amersfoort) and Nicholas Latifi (Carlin).

Verstappen jumped to the top of the pile after the break, eventually setting a best of the day at 1:51.716, less than one-tenth clear of Ocon and Fuoco. Carlin’s Ed Jones took 4th place this time out.

With this being the first official day of the new regulation engines, it gave Volkswagen and Mercedes reason to be cheerful, as both manufacturers enjoyed time at the top.

For Neil Brown Engineering, their new-for-2014 motor showed well in the hands of T-Sport duo Spike Goddard and Alexander Toril; however it has been a disastrous build-up for Signature-Renault.

The French combination officially withdrew from the Silverstone round this morning. Following the pre-season tests, it was discovered that their engines were up to 20 kph down on the straights at both the Hungaroring and the Red Bull Ring.

2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Free Practice combined)
Pos Driver               Car                                  Time       Gap
 1. Max Verstappen       Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW            1m51.716s
 2. Esteban Ocon         Prema Dallara-Mercedes               1m51.798s  +0.082s
 3. Antonio Fuoco        Prema Dallara-Mercedes               1m51.863s  +0.147s
 4. Ed Jones             Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m52.040s  +0.324s
 5. Jordan King          Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m52.082s  +0.366s
 6. Tom Blomqvist        Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m52.116s  +0.400s
 7. Nicholas Latifi      Prema Dallara-Mercedes               1m52.259s  +0.543s
 8. Antonio Giovinazzi   Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m52.334s  +0.618s
 9. Spike Goddard        T-Sport Dallara-NBE                  1m52.558s  +0.842s
10. Felix Serralles      West-Tec Dallara-Mercedes            1m52.594s  +0.878s
11. John Bryant-Meisner  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes              1m52.606s  +0.890s
12. Felipe Guimaraes     Double R Dallara-Mercedes            1m52.665s  +0.949s
13. Dennis van de Laar   Prema Dallara-Mercedes               1m52.690s  +0.974s
14. Riccardo Agostini    EuroInternational Dallara-Mercedes   1m52.712s  +0.996s
15. Mitch Gilbert        Fortec Dallara-Mercedes              1m52.754s  +1.038s
16. Felix Rosenqvist     Mucke Dallara-Mercedes               1m53.001s  +1.285s
17. Lucas Auer           Mucke Dallara-Mercedes               1m53.013s  +1.297s
18. Jake Dennis          Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m53.026s  +1.310s
19. Sean Gelael          Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m53.323s  +1.607s
20. Jules Szymkowiak     Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW            1m53.442s  +1.726s
21. Gustavo Menezes      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW            1m53.445s  +1.729s
22. Alexander Toril      T-Sport Dallara-NBE                  1m53.455s  +1.739s
23. Tatiana Calderon     Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes           1m53.558s  +1.842s
24. Roy Nissany          Mucke Dallara-Mercedes               1m53.572s  +1.856s
25. Michele Beretta      EuroInternational Dallara-Mercedes   1m53.588s  +1.872s
26. Hector Hurst         West-Tec Dallara-Mercedes            1m54.362s  +2.646s

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