Hungaroring FR3.5: Lotus protege Matthieu Vaxiviere tops practice

Matthieu Vaxiviere set the quickest time in both Formula Renault 3.5 practice sessions at the Hungaroring on Friday

Hungaroring FR3.5: Lotus protege Matthieu Vaxiviere tops practice

The Lotus F1 junior driver recorded a 1m31.232s in the morning, before improving his time to 1m29.514s in the afternoon's second 50 minute session.

"Everything was fine, except I had some sweat in my eyes while I was driving," said Vaxiviere, who is chasing his third win of the season this weekend. "The heat here was really horrible."

Strakka Racing's Tio Ellinas ended the morning second fastest, just 0.021s ahead of Draco driver Pietro Fantin.

In the afternoon, Carlin's Tom Dillmann was Vaxiviere's closest challenger, while championship leader Oliver Rowland took third spot.

ALBON STANDS IN FOR VAN BUUREN

On his debut outing in a FR3.5 race weekend, Signature European Formula 3 regular Alexander Albon took an impressive fourth in the morning for Lotus.

Albon occupied the seat usually taken by Meindert van Buuren, but Lotus's team-manager has confirmed the Dutchman will be back in the car for this weekend's races.

Championship leader Oliver Rowland was quickest for much of the morning session, before being demoted to fifth.

Rowland's Fortec team-mate, and this year's Monaco victor, Jazeman Jaafar was bottom of the timing screens in practice one after failing to set a single competitive lap.

"We had a gearshift problem, and in trying to fix it the clutch overheated," said Fortec team manager Jamie Dye.

"So when we had repaired the problem and tried to go out again we encountered the clutch problem."

Gustav Malja posted an early strong time in the morning before slipping to sixth as he devoted the final 10 minutes to pitstop practice. The Swede narrowly edged out McLaren-backed racer Nyck de Vries.

The afternoon's second session was red-flagged when Carlin's Sean Gelael suffered contact at Turn 1.

Albon had been quickest at the time of the incident, 0.172s ahead of team-mate Vaxiviere, but the London-born Thai slipped to seventh following a flurry of quick times in the dying minutes.

Jaafar recovered from his earlier misfortune to take fourth in practice two, ahead of Ellinas and Orudzhev.

NO MORE LOW DOWNFORCE

Since the previous round at Spa, FR3.5 has abandoned the mandatory use of low-downforce settings in its Saturday races.

Friday pacesetter Vaxiviere's Charouz-run Lotus team was in a minority of those who wanted to continue with the low-downforce regulations.

"It's not really a problem because we know we have a quick car," said Vaxiviere.

"I did like the LDF as it added something different to the weekend, but the decision has been made."

MORNING SESSION:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m31.232s - 19
2 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m31.417s 0.185s 22
3 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m31.438s 0.206s 22
4 Alexander Albon Lotus 1m31.522s 0.290s 19
5 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m31.815s 0.583s 22
6 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m31.858s 0.626s 22
7 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m31.870s 0.638s 20
8 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m32.079s 0.847s 22
9 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m32.092s 0.860s 18
10 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m32.143s 0.911s 18
11 Beitske Visser AVF 1m32.163s 0.931s 21
12 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m32.315s 1.083s 21
13 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m32.621s 1.389s 19
14 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m32.802s 1.570s 21
15 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m32.853s 1.621s 20
16 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m33.205s 1.973s 20
17 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m33.406s 2.174s 21
18 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m33.572s 2.340s 15
19 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m33.674s 2.442s 17
20 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports - - 0

AFTERNOON SESSION:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m29.514s - 19
2 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m29.537s 0.023s 16
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m29.542s 0.028s 22
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m29.701s 0.187s 21
5 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m29.867s 0.353s 17
6 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m30.249s 0.735s 20
7 Alexander Albon Lotus 1m30.438s 0.924s 17
8 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m30.467s 0.953s 16
9 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m30.759s 1.245s 16
10 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m30.764s 1.250s 20
11 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m30.868s 1.354s 21
12 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m30.986s 1.472s 13
13 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m31.147s 1.633s 16
14 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m31.264s 1.750s 15
15 Beitske Visser AVF 1m31.303s 1.789s 20
16 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m31.470s 1.956s 18
17 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m31.656s 2.142s 18
18 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m31.706s 2.192s 22
19 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m31.874s 2.360s 19
20 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m31.920s 2.406s 17


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