Spa FR3.5: Nico Muller fastest in Friday practice
|By Glenn Freeman||Friday, May 31st 2013, 15:16 GMT|
Monaco Formula Renault 3.5 race-winner Nico Muller picked up where he left off in the Principality by topping free practice at Spa on Friday.
The Swiss driver, who took his maiden victory in the category on the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend, jumped to the top of the times for Draco in a dry afternoon session with just three minutes remaining.
Until that point, Muller - who was sixth quickest in wet conditions earlier in the day - had not been a factor near the front.
Championship leader Kevin Magnussen led the way for the majority of the session in his DAMS car, losing top spot briefly to Lotus's Marco Sorensen with around 20 minutes to go, and again to Muller at the end.
The McLaren junior edged out title rivals Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne, both of whom made late improvements to at least get closer to the driver who had a comfortable margin over the field for much of his time out front.
The only other big improvement towards the end of the session came courtesy of Will Stevens. The Briton jumped up to fifth in the closing minutes, before failing to improve on his final lap despite setting a personal best first sector time and the outright best final sector.
Sorensen slumped to sixth after his brief run at the head of the field going into the closing stages, while Oliver Webb, Lucas Foresti, Carlos Sainz Jr and Andre Negrao completed the top 10.
Magnussen had also narrowly missed out on topping the morning session in wet conditions, where he was beaten to first position by local star (and fellow McLaren junior) Vandoorne.
Practice one: Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec 2m19.894s 2. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 2m20.025s + 0.131s 3. Norman Nato DAMS 2m20.321s + 0.427s 4. Carlos Huertas Carlin 2m20.571s + 0.677s 5. Carlos Sainz Jr Zeta 2m20.607s + 0.713s 6. Nico Muller Draco 2m20.831s + 0.937s 7. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 2m20.996s + 1.102s 8. Daniil Move Comtec 2m21.269s + 1.375s 9. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 2m21.288s + 1.394s 10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 2m21.329s + 1.435s 11. Marco Sorensen Lotus 2m21.382s + 1.488s 12. Andre Negrao Draco 2m21.457s + 1.563s 13. Arthur Pic AV 2m21.614s + 1.720s 14. Lucas Foresti Comtec 2m21.707s + 1.813s 15. Will Stevens P1/Strakka 2m22.095s + 2.201s 16. Oliver Webb Fortec 2m22.192s + 2.298s 17. Zoel Amberg Pons 2m22.210s + 2.316s 18. Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 2m22.269s + 2.375s 19. Matias Laine P1/Strakka 2m22.319s + 2.425s 20. Christopher Zanella ISR 2m22.630s + 2.736s 21. Nigel Melker Tech 1 2m22.631s + 2.737s 22. Nikolay Martsenko Pons 2m23.115s + 3.221s 23. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 2m23.287s + 3.393s 24. Mihai Marinescu Zeta 2m23.369s + 3.475s 25. Yann Cunha AV 2m23.617s + 3.723s 26. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2m25.049s + 5.155s Practice two: Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Muller Draco 2m00.281s 2. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 2m00.311s + 0.030s 3. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 2m00.412s + 0.131s 4. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec 2m00.482s + 0.201s 5. Will Stevens P1/Strakka 2m00.492s + 0.211s 6. Marco Sorensen Lotus 2m00.635s + 0.354s 7. Oliver Webb Fortec 2m00.680s + 0.399s 8. Lucas Foresti Comtec 2m00.911s + 0.630s 9. Carlos Sainz Jr Zeta 2m01.032s + 0.751s 10. Andre Negrao Draco 2m01.052s + 0.771s 11. Nigel Melker Tech 1 2m01.082s + 0.801s 12. Arthur Pic AV 2m01.124s + 0.843s 13. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 2m01.214s + 0.933s 14. Daniil Move Comtec 2m01.234s + 0.953s 15. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2m01.295s + 1.014s 16. Nikolay Martsenko Pons 2m01.346s + 1.065s 17. Norman Nato DAMS 2m01.373s + 1.092s 18. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 2m01.403s + 1.122s 19. Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 2m01.496s + 1.215s 20. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 2m01.535s + 1.254s 21. Carlos Huertas Carlin 2m01.934s + 1.653s 22. Christopher Zanella ISR 2m01.961s + 1.680s 23. Matias Laine P1/Strakka 2m02.050s + 1.769s 24. Mihai Marinescu Zeta 2m02.792s + 2.511s 25. Yann Cunha AV 2m03.121s + 2.840s 26. Zoel Amberg Pons 2m04.499s + 4.218s