GP3 Series Media

Status Grand Prix’s rookie Alexander Sims was the fastest man out on track today, after setting the best time of 1:21.827 during the morning session at Circuit Paul Ricard on a rain-affected first day.

After nearly five months the GP3 Series teams were back on track today for the first of three pre-season tests. The teams were greeted with a wet track and low temperatures at Circuit Paul Ricard giving many of the thirty young drivers their first taste of Pirelli’s wet weather tyres.

It was a slow start to the morning session. MW Arden was the first team to hit the 3D configuration track, with newcomer Lewis Williamson setting the initial benchmark time for the rest of the field. The British driver was eventually toppled from the top of the time sheets by Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims after the first hour was complete. The track slowly started to dry in the latter part of the session and the times began to drop – Williamson, Sims, rookies Valtteri Bottas and Gabby Chaves, Miki Monras, Ivan Lukashevich, Simon Trummer and Vittorio Ghirelli all took their turns at the top before a red flag halted proceedings.

When the lights changed to green the drivers had just five minutes left on the clock for one final shootout. With some of the field out on slicks, and the track still drying it was impossible to predict who would finish the session on top. It looked like Chaves would be the driver to triumph, but in the dying seconds new Status signees Sims and Felix Da Costa took the honours with Sims setting the quickest laptime of 1:21.827.

When the lights turned green in the afternoon session the cars were quick to take to the track whilst the rain held off, but just a few minutes in and the heavens opened. All the cars out on track ducked back into the pits leaving rookie James Calado at the top of the time sheet for Lotus ART with a laptime of 1:24.627. For the remainder of the session conditions struggled to improve with the downpour only easing for the final thirty minutes. It was a tough afternoon for the drivers, and there were a number of red flags caused by casualties of the rain. Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto managed to set the quickest wet time of the day with a laptime of 1:35.164, but Calado’s time went unbeaten, and the field were left eager to start again tomorrow – hopefully under blue skies.

The test will continue tomorrow at 09:00 am local time.

Full morning session times:

  DRIVER TEAM LAPS BEST TIME GAP
1 Alexander Sims STATUS GRAND PRIX   1:21827  
2 Antonio Felix Da Costa STATUS GRAND PRIX 34 1:21.913 0.086
3 Gabby Chaves ADDAX TEAM 49 1:22.067 0.240
4 Lewis Williamson MW ARDEN 50 1:22.221 0.394
5 MON Miki Monras ADDAX TEAM 52 1:22.375 0.548
6 Tamas Pal Kiss TECH 1 RACING 34 1:22.488 0.661
7 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MANOR RACING 36 1:22.870 1.043
8 Ivan Lukashevich STATUS GRAND PRIX 41 1:22.931 1.104
9 Tom Dillmann CARLIN 37 1:23.034 1.207
10 Vittorio Ghirelli JENZER MOTORSPORT 48 1:23.180 1.353
11 Conor Daly CARLIN 40 1:23.278 1.451
12 Daniel Morad ADDAX TEAM 38 1:23.668 1.841
13 Marlon Stockinger ATECH CRS GP 48 1:23.993 2.166
14 Kataro Sakurai CARLIN 46 1:24.959 3.132
15 Zoel Amberg ATECH CRS GP 38 1:25.017 3.190
16 Nick Yelloly ATECH CRS GP 51 1:26.584 4.757
17 Valtteri Bottas LOTUS ART 36 1:27.312 5.485
18 James Calado LOTUS ART 27 1:27.779 5.952
19 Aaro Vainio TECH 1 RACING 24 1:27.868 6.041
20 Nigel Melker RSC M…UCKE MOTORSPORT 33 1:28.207 6.380
21 Michael Christensen RSC M…UCKE MOTORSPORT 37 1:28.299 6.472
22 Simon Trummer MW ARDEN 36 1:28.363 6.536
23 Rio Haryanto MANOR RACING 35 1:28.520 6.693
24 Maxim Zimin JENZER MOTORSPORT 37 1:28.830 7.003
25 Doru Sechelariu TECH 1 RACING 38 1:29.150 7.323
26 Matias Laine MANOR RACING 15 1:31.104 9.277
27 Nico Muller JENZER MOTORSPORT 36 1:31.823 9.996
28 Willi Steindl RSC MU…CKE MOTORSPORT 34 1:32.335 10.50
29 Pedro Nunes LOTUS ART 27 1:33.284 11.45
30 Mitch Evans MW ARDEN 24 1:33.645 11.81

Full afternoon session times:

  DRIVER TEAM LAPS BEST TIME GAP
1 James Calado LOTUS ART 36 1:24.627  
2 Ivan Lukashevich STATUS GRAND PRIX 30 1:25.795 1.168
3 Lewis Williamson MW ARDEN 18 1:25.798 1.171
4 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MANOR RACING 33 1:25.966 1.339
5 Tom Dillmann CARLIN 35 1:26.024 1.397
6 Conor Daly CARLIN 45 1:26.085 1.458
7 Valtteri Bottas LOTUS ART 39 1:26.092 1.465
8 Antonio Felix Da Costa STATUS GRAND PRIX 24 1:26.109 1.482
9 Alexander Sims STATUS GRAND PRIX 17 1:26.198 1.571
10 Nigel Melker RSC MÜCKE MOTORSPORT 41 1:26.567 1.940
11 Daniel Morad ADDAX TEAM 10 1:26.632 2.005
12 Nick Yelloly ATECH CRS GP 8 1:26.794 2.167
13 Maxim Zimin JENZER MOTORSPORT 33 1:26.895 2.268
14 Vittorio Ghirelli JENZER MOTORSPORT 12 1:27.349 2.722
15 Nico Müller JENZER MOTORSPORT 17 1:27.479 2.852
16 Michael Christensen RSC MÜCKE MOTORSPORT 37 1:27.679 3.052
17 Marlon Stockinger ATECH CRS GP 16 1:27.994 3.367
18 Zoel Amberg ATECH CRS GP 30 1:28.623 3.996
19 Tamas Pal Kiss TECH 1 RACING 39 1:29.390 4.763
20 Kataro Sakurai CARLIN 36 1:29.923 5.296
21 Matias Laine MANOR RACING 34 1:34.554 9.927
22 Rio Haryanto MANOR RACING 24 1:35.164 10.537
23 Willi Steindl RSC MÜCKE MOTORSPORT 37 1:35.203 10.576
24 Mitch Evans MW ARDEN 41 1:37.480 12.853
25 Gabby Chaves ADDAX TEAM 20 1:38.034 13.407
26 Doru Sechelariu TECH 1 RACING 34 1:38.483 13.856
27 Aaro Vainio TECH 1 RACING 42 1:38.545 13.918
28 Pedro Nunes LOTUS ART 34 1:38.654 14.027
29 Simon Trummer MW ARDEN 17 1:38.870 14.243
30 Miki Monras ADDAX TEAM 12 1:39.256 14.629