Alexandr Smolyar topped the timesheets on the first day of Formula 3 testing in Austria on Saturday, taking P1 in the final 20 minutes of the session.
The ART Grand Prix driver, who re-signed for the team for 2021, was the only one to set a time below 1m19 all day in the Red Bull Ring, with a best lap of 1m18.894s.
Jonny Edgar de Carlin took second place with a record of 1m19.036s, while Smolyar’s teammate and Mercedes junior, Frederik Vesti, ranked third with a time of 1m19.056.
Hitech Grand Prix rookie and Red Bull junior, Like Crawford, was fourth after a lap of 1m19.085s.
Dennis Hauger Prema Racing led the afternoon session until the final 20 minutes, but finally finished fifth, with a time of 1m19.110s.
During the session, several lap times were eliminated for drivers who did not respect the limits of turns 1, 3, 9 and 10 during the afternoon session, including HWA’s Smolyar, Edgar and Matteo Nannini.
The ecuadorian Juan Manuel Correa, ART GP, will compete this year in the FIA F3 after his accident at Spa in 2019. The South American finished in 15th place with a time of 1m19.456s.
The morning session was led by Trident’s Clement Novalak, with a 1m19.162, the sixth best time of the day.
MP Motorsport ranked second and third fastest of the session, with Caio Collet and Victor Martins respectively.
The session was marked by a red flag towards the end for an accident at Turn 8 starring HWA’s Oliver Rasmussen, but was resumed for the final 10 minutes.
The teams will return to the track this Sunday. Teams will test their cars on the Pirelli midsize compound and each driver will be assigned six sets of tires for testing.
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There will be two more test weekends, both in Spain, one before and one after the first round of the season that will be part of the Spanish Grand Prix from May 7-9.
The sessions will take place at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on April 21 and 22 before the season opens, and the subsequent one on May 12 and 13 at the Jerez circuit.