F3: Hughes fastest in Spa Free Practice

Jake Hughes
Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes showed no signs of a summer break hangover, carrying on his good form from Round 5 and topping today’s Free Practice in Spa-Francorchamps. The HWA RACELAB man was electric on his penultimate tour of the Belgian circuit to finish ahead of Trident’s Niko Kari and Campos Racing’s Alex Peroni in a new look top 10.

Around half of the grid set out onto the track when the session got underway and it was Lirim Zendeli who put in the first lap, before Devlin DeFrancesco set the standard at 2:11.153. Giorgio Carrara – in just his third FIA Formula 3 outing – then took the time to under 2m 10s, as the rest of the field began to filter out onto the track.

From then on, Pedro Piquet began to dominate the session, initially taking the lead on his first flying lap, before beating his own time to secure first at the halfway point. The order beneath him remained in a constant state of evolution – Logan Sargeant, Ye Yifei and Leonardo Pulcini were amongst the drivers to prop up the Brazilian and sit in second place.

Round 5’s top performers, ART Grand Prix, began to get their bearings in the second half of Free Practice and Christian Lundgaard leapt to first, followed closely by teammate David Beckmann.

With less than 15 minutes to go, the teams dived in the pits for a freshen-up. Most returned with seven minutes on the clock, but Lundgaard’s departure from the pits was stalled as he required a new steering wheel.

Upon the Dane’s return, Fabio Scherer had climbed a mammoth 27 places to steal his place at the top of the standings with a laptime of 2:06.912. This was short lived as Liam Lawson, Yifei and Peroni all took turns in first place.

Looking to make a statement, Hughes set a purple Sector 2 and sailed around the track with less than five minutes on the clock in search of P1. The Brit fought off traffic on a crowded track to set the quickest time of the morning.

With time left for just one more lap, no one was able to topple the HWA RACELAB driver’s time of 2:05.929, as Kari and Peroni settled for places in the top three. Yifei, Richard Verschoor and Lawson completed the top five, followed by Bent Viscaal, Scherer, Raoul Hyman and Andreas Estner.

Action will resume for Qualifying at 5.50pm local time and the new look top ten will hope to carry their positive starts into the all-important race for pole.

Practice Results

POS

DRIVER

TEAM

TIME

LAPS

1

Jake Hughes

HWA RACELAB

2:05.929

13

2

Niko Kari

Trident

2:06.462

15

3

Alex Peroni

Campos Racing

2:06.479

15

4

Ye Yifei

Hitech Grand Prix

2:06.512

16

5

Richard Verschoor

MP Motorsport

2:06.544

17

6

Liam Lawson

MP Motorsport

2:06.629

15

7

Bent Viscaal

HWA RACELAB

2:06.895

14

8

Fabio Scherer

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

2:06.912

17

9

Raoul Hyman

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

2:06.915

15

10

Andreas Estner

Jenzer Motorsport

2:06.968

17

11

Keyvan Andres

HWA RACELAB

2:07.013

12

12

Lirim Zendeli

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

2:07.023

16

13

Simo Laaksonen

MP Motorsport

2:07.033

16

14

Giorgio Carrara

Jenzer Motorsport

2:07.158

16

15

Jehan Daruvala

PREMA Racing

2:07.742

15

16

Christian Lundgaard

ART Grand Prix

2:07.797

12

17

David Beckmann

ART Grand Prix

2:07.897

14

18

Pedro Piquet

Trident

2:07.913

14

19

Marcus Armstrong

PREMA Racing

2:07.930

15

20

Yuki Tsunoda

Jenzer Motorsport

2:07.981

15

21

Leonardo Pulcini

Hitech Grand Prix

2:07.982

13

22

Max Fewtrell

ART Grand Prix

2:08.121

14

23

Robert Shwartzman

PREMA Racing

2:08.167

15

24

Juri Vips

Hitech Grand Prix

2:08.283

14

25

Devlin DeFrancesco

Trident

2:08.331

16

26

Logan Sargeant

Carlin Buzz Racing

2:08.826

13

27

Felipe Drugovich

Carlin Buzz Racing

2:08.857

14

28

Teppei Natori

Carlin Buzz Racing

2:08.913

13

29

Sebastian Fernandez

Campos Racing

2:10.457

14

30

Alessio Deledda

Campos Racing

2:10.734

14

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