Hulkenberg takes F3 pole
Nico Hülkenberg (ASM Formule 3, 1:06.755 min) set the fastest lap time in free practice of the Formula 3 Euro Series in Barcelona. At the 2.977 kilometers long track, the German outpaced Franck Mailleux (Manor Motorsport, 1:06.974 min) who was second. Romain Grosjean (ASM Formule 3, 1:07.008 min), who arrived in Spain as the points leader of the world’s toughest junior racing category, finished the 60 minutes’ session in third place from James Jakes (Manor Motorsport, 1:07.092 min).
Halfway through the session, Nico Hülkenberg took over the lead in the classification from Romain Grosjean. At this time, the German was the only driver in the field to achieve a lap time under 1.07 minutes. Afterwards, Grosjean tried to claim back first place with a few improvements of his personal best time. However, the 21-year old failed to do so and Hülkenberg remained first. “The position is okay, but we still have to improve. The set-up of the car isn’t perfect yet”, the German summed up.
In the closing stages, Franck Mailleux also outpaced Grosjean and took second place. The French rookie was the second driver in the 25 cars strong field to crack the 1:07 barrier. “Compared to yesterday’s test, the track was different, because it was warmer and the DTM cars already had left some rubber on the track. Now, we have to adapt our set-up to the changed conditions, but we are on the right way.”
His teammate James Jakes in fourth place was also happy. “I think that pole position is within reach for me in qualifying this afternoon. My car is good and I have a good feeling.”
For Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport, 1:07.477 min) things didn’t go according to plan at all. The runner-up in the standings of the Formula 3 Euro Series was only 14th. “Set-up wasn’t good. Now, we have to analyze it, so that things are better again in qualifying.”
Four places behind Buemi, Marco Holzer (AM-Holzer Rennsport, 1:07.694 min) is the best-placed driver with a Volkswagen engine in 18th place. The two RC-Motorsport-drivers Jonathan Summerton (1:08.247 min) and Maximilian Götz (1:08.317 min) had to cope with technical problems. Götz was sidelined after twelve laps due to a broken oil pump, Summerton retired with gearbox failure after 14 laps.
Results (Click to Enlarge)