Barcelona FR3.5: Kevin Magnussen fastest in practice at finale

Kevin Magnussen made the perfect start to the final Formula Renault 3.5 weekend of the season by topping both free practice sessions comfortably at Barcelona

Barcelona FR3.5: Kevin Magnussen fastest in practice at finale

The McLaren junior, who comes into this weekend with a 43-point lead over Stoffel Vandoorne in the championship with only 50 points still to play for, led the morning session by nearly seven tenths of a second.

While he was unable to quite match his morning time in the afternoon session, DAMS driver Magnussen was still clear of the chasing pack, with only Will Stevens (P1/Strakka) and Vandoorne (Fortec) getting within half a second of his time.

Stevens briefly appeared to have got the better of Magnussen in a late flurry of activity in the afternoon, and initially the Dane could only get back ahead by less than one tenth of a second.

But as the chequered flag came out and most drivers either returned to the pits or failed to improve, Magnussen found nearly another two tenths to give himself another comfortable margin over his pursuers.

Stevens, who was a championship outsider earlier in the season, hung onto second ahead of Vandoorne, while Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa and Arthur Pic completed the top five.

In the morning session, Sauber 2014 Formula 1 prospect Sergey Sirotkin was best of the rest behind Magnussen, whose team-mate Norman Nato took third ahead of Vandoorne and Stevens.

Only 25 cars were in action during Friday's running, as Carlin's Jazeman Jaafar was taken to hospital to receive treatment for an infection.

FR3.5 TITLE PERMUTATIONS

Current standings: Magnussen 224, Vandoorne 181

Only Magnussen can win the title in race one:

If Vandoorne wins, Magnussen needs to be sixth or higher

If Vandoorne is second, Magnussen needs to be 10th or higher

Practice one:

Pos  Driver                  Team            Time       Gap
 1.  Kevin Magnussen         DAMS            1m30.730s
 2.  Sergey Sirotkin         ISR             1m31.398s  +0.668s
 3.  Norman Nato             DAMS            1m31.621s  +0.891s
 4.  Stoffel Vandoorne       Fortec          1m31.626s  +0.896s
 5.  Will Stevens            P1/Strakka      1m31.661s  +0.931s
 6.  Marco Sorensen          Lotus           1m31.684s  +0.954s
 7.  Arthur Pic              AV              1m31.691s  +0.961s
 8.  Andre Negrao            Draco           1m31.708s  +0.978s
 9.  Nikolay Martsenko       Pons            1m31.928s  +1.198s
10.  Zoel Amberg             Pons            1m31.933s  +1.203s
11.  Nigel Melker            Tech 1          1m31.951s  +1.221s
12.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Arden Caterham  1m31.968s  +1.238s
13.  Mikhail Aleshin         Tech 1          1m32.059s  +1.329s
14.  Pietro Fantin           Arden Caterham  1m32.153s  +1.423s
15.  Marlon Stockinger       Lotus           1m32.186s  +1.456s
16.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin          1m32.206s  +1.476s
17.  Matias Laine            P1/Strakka      1m32.250s  +1.520s
18.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Zeta            1m32.303s  +1.573s
19.  Oliver Webb             Fortec          1m32.322s  +1.592s
20.  Nico Muller             Draco           1m32.340s  +1.610s
21.  Christopher Zanella     ISR             1m32.405s  +1.675s
22.  Will Buller             Zeta            1m32.610s  +1.880s
23.  Lucas Foresti           SMP/Comtec      1m32.635s  +1.905s
24.  Yann Cunha              AV              1m33.406s  +2.676s
25.  Daniil Move             SMP/Comtec      1m33.554s  +2.824s

Practice two:

Pos  Driver                  Team            Time       Gap
 1.  Kevin Magnussen         DAMS            1m30.877s
 2.  Will Stevens            P1/Strakka      1m31.143s  +0.266s
 3.  Stoffel Vandoorne       Fortec          1m31.479s  +0.602s
 4.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Arden Caterham  1m31.571s  +0.694s
 5.  Arthur Pic              AV              1m31.615s  +0.738s
 6.  Christopher Zanella     ISR             1m31.689s  +0.812s
 7.  Norman Nato             DAMS            1m31.804s  +0.927s
 8.  Nico Muller             Draco           1m31.816s  +0.939s
 9.  Pietro Fantin           Arden Caterham  1m31.857s  +0.980s
10.  Nigel Melker            Tech 1          1m31.860s  +0.983s
11.  Marco Sorensen          Lotus           1m31.876s  +0.999s
12.  Marlon Stockinger       Lotus           1m31.925s  +1.048s
13.  Daniil Move             SMP/Comtec      1m31.964s  +1.087s
14.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Zeta            1m31.984s  +1.107s
15.  Matias Laine            P1/Strakka      1m32.015s  +1.138s
16.  Oliver Webb             Fortec          1m32.045s  +1.168s
17.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin          1m32.117s  +1.240s
18.  Zoel Amberg             Pons            1m32.153s  +1.276s
19.  Andre Negrao            Draco           1m32.260s  +1.383s
20.  Will Buller             Zeta            1m32.310s  +1.433s
21.  Lucas Foresti           SMP/Comtec      1m32.640s  +1.763s
22.  Nikolay Martsenko       Pons            1m32.785s  +1.908s
23.  Sergey Sirotkin         ISR             1m32.798s  +1.921s
24.  Mikhail Aleshin         Tech 1          1m33.010s  +2.133s
25.  Yann Cunha              AV              1m36.164s  +5.287s
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