Kari tops opening day of Abu Dhabi GP3 testing

Niko Kari, driving for new team MP Motorsport, topped the opening day of GP3 post-season testing at Abu Dhabi.

Kari tops opening day of Abu Dhabi GP3 testing
Niko Kari, Arden International
 Callum Ilott, ART Grand Prix
 Callum Ilott, ART Grand Prix
 Alessio Lorandi, Trident
 Alessio Lorandi, Trident

The Finn, who has spent the last two seasons as a Red Bull junior but no longer be aligned to the Austrian firm next year, set his best time of 1m54.960s early in the morning session.

He topped the first session by almost two tenths over Trident's Alessio Lorandi with that effort, and the duo stayed first and second overall in the afternoon as nobody went below the 1m55s barrier.

Ferrari junior Callum Ilott, driving for ART, set the pace in the second session, his 1m55.277s effort putting him third overall and making him fastest rookie.

Fellow Ferrari protege Giuliano Alesi was just 0.003s shy of Ilott, with Leonardo Pulcini of Campos also less than a tenth slower.

The aforementioned duo were fourth and fifth overall, as the rest of the top 10 was determined by times set in the afternoon.

Jehan Daruvala was the top Arden driver and second-best rookie in sixth, followed by Trident's Pedro Piquet and the ART duo of Nikita Mazepin and Jake Hughes.

Next up was Eurocup Formula Renault convert Gabriel Aubry, driving for MP, as the Dutch squad, which will replace DAMS on the GP3 grid next year, brought two of its three cars into the top 10.

The only two drivers to bring out red flags were David Beckmann and Simo Laaksonen, who stopped on track at Turn 2 in the morning session and 11 in the afternoon respectively.

Day 1 results

Pos. Driver Team Morning Afternoon
1  Niko Kari MP Motorsport 1:54.960 1:55.588
2  Alessio Lorandi Trident 1:55.125 1:55.492
3  Callum Ilott ART Grand Prix 1:57.087 1:55.277
4  Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:55.530 1:55.280
5  Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 1:55.871 1:55.362
6  Jehan Daruvala Arden International 1:55.751 1:55.458
7  Pedro Piquet Trident 1:56.303 1:55.509
8  Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1:57.385 1:55.598
9  Jake Hughes ART Grand Prix 1:55.983 1:55.619
10  Gabriel Aubry MP Motorsport 1:56.144 1:55.766
11  Ryan Tveter  Trident 1:55.770 1:55.915
12  Tatiana Calderon ART Grand Prix 1:56.053 1:55.855
13  David Beckmann Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.618 1:55.903
14  Thiago Vivacqua Campos Racing 1:56.937 1:55.991
15 / Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.243 1:56.547
16  Job van Uitert Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.436 1:56.330
17  Ferdinand Habsburg Arden International 1:56.467 1:56.475
18  Will Palmer Arden International 1:56.904 1:56.582
19  Leonard Hoogenboom MP Motorsport 1:57.416 1:56.695
20  Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing 1:56.970 2:03.387
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