Russell sets the pace on day one of Budapest testing
ART’s George Russell was the quickest man in both sessions of the opening day of testing at Budapest, with a fastest laptime of 1:32.159 set in the morning session, ahead of Dorian Boccolacci and Alessio Lorandi in P2 and P3 of the overall timings.
The GP3 Series paddock has gathered at the Hungaroring in Budapest for a two day test mid-season session ahead of Round 2 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria next month.
The morning’s proceedings were delayed by one hour to wait for the full medical staff to be operational. As the pitlane went green at 10am local time, all cars fed onto the track to complete their installation laps with Tatiana Calderon the only driver to set a laptime in the opening 45 minutes. On the one hour mark Boccolacci went top, dipping under 1:34, but Russell found some extra pace to move up to P1, three tenths faster than Alessio Lorandi in P2.
Russell remained top for most of the trouble-free session, improving to break the 1m33s barrier, but with thirty minutes left on the clock Boccolacci temporarily edged him out, going fastest by four hundredths. In the closing stages Russell went P1 again, as Aitken also improved to move up to P2, four tenths slower than his teammate. At the chequered flag, and behind the top 3, Arjun Maini, Santino Ferrucci, Lorandi, Raoul Hyman, Marcos Siebert, Nirei Fukuzumi and Anthoine Hubert rounded up the top 10.
Following a two hour lunch break the action picked up again, with Leonardo Pulcini leading the way in the opening stages, but Bruno Baptista improved on the Italian’s laptime to go top. The session was briefly halted after Julien Falchero stopped at the exit of Turn 5. At the restart Niko Kari was soon sitting pretty at the top of the timesheets, before Lorandi went quickest under menacing skies.
With one hour left on the clock, Russell put his head down to lap the Hungarian track under 1m33s, two tenths faster than Lorandi. In the closing stages, a red flag was shown after Baptista stopped at Turn 12. When the track went live again Russell improved further to set a laptime of 1:32.332, while Boccolacci also found some extra pace to move up to P2, one tenth slower than the Briton.
When the flag dropped and behind the top 3, Aitken, Ferrucci, Maini, Fukuzumi, Siebert, Kevin Jörg and Hubert completed the top 10. The second and final day of testing will open tomorrow at 9am local time.