Reigning German Formula 4 champion Juri Vips topped the first day of the final pre-season European F3 pre-season test at Misano.
The Estonian stamped in an impressive time during the second half of the morning two-hour session to head the order in his Motopark-run car, beating second-fastest Mick Schumacher by 0.138 seconds.
Alex Palou headed the order in the afternoon in the lead Hitech GP machine, leaping to the top of the field in a run that came near the end of the three-and-a-half-hour session.
The Spaniard’s afternoon time put him second overall on the day, 0.089s adrift of Vips’s morning best.
Up until Palou’s effort, Prema Powerteam pair Ralf Aron and Schumacher had headed the afternoon times – Aron’s best was just 0.041s behind Palou’s and a mere thousandth quicker than Schumacher’s, putting them third and fourth overall on the day.
Apart from Vips, the only other driver to fail to improve in the afternoon was his Motopark teammate and fellow German F4 graduate Jonathan Aberdein – the South African was third in the morning and that time was still good enough for fifth by the end of the day.
Reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion Sacha Fenestraz came through to lead the Carlin charge – the French Renault F1 protege was fourth in both sessions, finishing the day sixth overall.
Two of Prema’s Ferrari juniors ended up seventh and ninth, with Marcus Armstrong and Guan Yu Zhou respectively sandwiching Force India-backed Carlin racer Jehan Daruvala.
Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum rounded out the top 10 in his Motopark machine.
The only driver whose 2018 race seat has not been confirmed, Sophia Floersch, was back in action for Van Amersfoort Racing and ended the day 21st-fastest.
|2||Alex Palou||Hitech GP||1'28.102||1'27.622|
|3||Ralf Aron||Prema Powerteam||1'27.914||1'27.663|
|4||Mick Schumacher||Prema Powerteam||1'27.671||1'27.664|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||Prema Powerteam||1'27.997||1'27.737|
|9||Guan Yu Zhou||Prema Powerteam||1'28.235||1'27.782|
|11||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Powerteam||1'27.828||1'27.788|
|13||Artem Petrov||Van Amersfoort Racing||1'28.326||1'27.903|
|17||Ben Hingeley||Hitech GP||1'28.420||1'28.088|
|20||Enaam Ahmed||Hitech GP||1'28.836||1'28.458|
|21||Sophia Floersch||Van Amersfoort Racing||1'29.295||1'28.503|
|24||Keyvan Andres||Van Amersfoort Racing||1'29.844||1'28.789|