Silverstone European F3: Max Verstappen leads free practice

Car-racing newcomer Max Verstappen led a rookie clean sweep of the top three in free practice for the opening round of the Formula 3 European Championship at Silverstone

Silverstone European F3: Max Verstappen leads free practice

The World Karting champion, whose only car races came in the Florida Winter Series earlier this year, edged out ex-Formula Renault aces Esteban Ocon and Antonio Fuoco at the end of the 80 minutes, in which the trio of new boys traded fastest times.

The Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Volkswagen of Verstappen, the 16-year-old son of ex-Formula 1 racer Jos, pipped Lotus F1 junior Ocon by 0.082 seconds, with Ferrari protege Fuoco less than a tenth further adrift.

All three drivers have never raced at Silverstone, but learned the circuit last month in Formula Renault machinery.

"I tested here for two days, but of course the Formula 3 car is a bit different," said Verstappen.

"Already the first session this morning was very good [Verstappen was third in this session, behind Prema Powerteam duo Fuoco and Ocon] but the tyre degradation was high - maybe because I was pushing hard to learn the track.

"After that we studied the data and it worked very well in the second session."

Reigning European F3 Open champion Ed Jones led the Carlin sextet in fourth place, with team-mates Jordan King and Tom Blomqvist directly behind him.

Meanwhile, Mucke Motorsport racers Felix Rosenqvist and Lucas Auer ended the sessions a lowly 16th and 17th respectively.

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 
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