Hungaroring FR3.5: Carlos Sainz Jr leads practice sessions

Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr marked the championship's return from a two-month summer break by topping both free practice sessions at the Hungaroring on Friday

Hungaroring FR3.5: Carlos Sainz Jr leads practice sessions

The Spaniard, whose Formula 1 ambitions were dealt a blow last month when his backer Red Bull decided to promote Formula 3 rookie Max Verstappen to an F1 race seat with Toro Rosso next year, was fastest in both wet and dry conditions in Hungary.

Sainz did not actually set the fastest time of the day, as Oliver Rowland went quickest at the end of the second session, but the Briton and Pierre Gasly had their final times deleted as they were set a few seconds after F3 European points leader Esteban Ocon brought out the red flags.

That bumped Rowland from first to second, and Gasly from third to sixth, and both drivers were subject to further investigation by the officials after the session.

The track dried slowly in the afternoon session after rain earlier in the day, and it was only in the final 15 minutes that the slick tyres really started to work and the laptimes began to fall.

Sainz appeared to have the field under control during the closing minutes, repeatedly setting new benchmarks as he found roughly one second with each lap in improving conditions.

Rowland was regularly his closest challenger along with Gasly, Oscar Tunjo, Luca Ghiotto and Ocon in the final 10 minutes, but once Rowland's and Gasly's best laps were taken away, Sainz's advantage over the field was one second.

The Red Bull junior had been 2.6 seconds clear of Tunjo in the wet first session of the day, with Rowland three seconds adrift in third.

First practice

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Carlos Sainz Jr. DAMS 1m57.309s -
2 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing 1m59.930s 2.621s
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 2m00.320s 3.011s
4 Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing 2m00.549s 3.240s
5 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing 2m00.576s 3.267s
6 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 2m00.637s 3.328s
7 Esteban Ocon Comtec Racing 2m00.859s 3.550s
8 Will Stevens Strakka Racing 2m01.708s 4.399s
9 Norman Nato DAMS 2m01.996s 4.687s
10 Zoel Amberg AVF 2m02.302s 4.993s
11 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport 2m02.914s 5.605s
12 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 2m03.283s 5.974s
13 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 2m03.362s 6.053s
14 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse 2m03.450s 6.141s
15 William Buller Arden Motorsport 2m03.678s 6.369s
16 Nicholas Latifi Tech 1 Racing 2m05.787s 8.478s
17 Matias Laine Strakka Racing 2m05.867s 8.558s
18 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2m06.001s 8.692s
19 Jazeman Jaafar ISR 2m06.288s 8.979s
20 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing 2m07.056s 9.747s
21 Beitske Visser AVF 2m07.808s 10.499s
22 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports - -
23 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing - -

Second practice

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Carlos Sainz Jr. DAMS 1m33.273s -
2 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m34.364s 1.091s
3 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing 1m34.528s 1.255s
4 Norman Nato DAMS 1m34.933s 1.660s
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m35.413s 2.140s
6 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport 1m35.878s 2.605s
7 Jazeman Jaafar ISR 1m36.086s 2.813s
8 Esteban Ocon Comtec Racing 1m36.134s 2.861s
9 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 1m36.376s 3.103s
10 Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing 1m36.650s 3.377s
11 Zoel Amberg AVF 1m37.038s 3.765s
12 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 1m37.096s 3.823s
13 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports 1m37.560s 4.287s
14 William Buller Arden Motorsport 1m38.699s 5.426s
15 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m39.194s 5.921s
16 Matias Laine Strakka Racing 1m39.419s 6.146s
17 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing 1m39.540s 6.267s
18 Nicholas Latifi Tech 1 Racing 1m40.192s 6.919s
19 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse 1m40.906s 7.633s
20 Beitske Visser AVF 1m41.179s 7.906s
21 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing 1m41.303s 8.030s
22 Will Stevens Strakka Racing 1m41.495s 8.222s
23 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m44.761s 11.488s


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Hungaroring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland on pole, Carlos Sainz Jr in 14th

Hungaroring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland on pole, Carlos Sainz Jr in 14th
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