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