GP3 LogoJenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon and ART Grand Prix’s Andrea Pizzitola lead the way

Italian ace Kevin Ceccon posted the quickest laptime of the day: a 1:55.501 set in the morning. French rookie Andrea Pizzitola topped the times in the afternoon session with a 1:55.832, narrowly beating Mitch Gilbert in the Arden International car.

The morning test session opened up in glorious conditions at the Yas Marina Circuit for day one of post-season testing. There were plenty of new faces and many drivers testing a GP3 car for the very first time as the pitlane was frenetic with activity with everyone keen to get on track.

Frenchman Pizzitola was fast out the doors for ART Grand Prix with Carlin’s Ed Jones in second and Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco in third. Jenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon went P1, but Pizzitola lapped a tenth quicker to re-take his place at the head of the timings.

The Italian found more pace to shoot back up to the top of the timesheet, 0.060s his advantage over Pizzitola. At the midway point, Jones and Arden International’s George Russell demoted Pizzitola to fourth as the positions below them remained fairly static with the best times being set early on in the session.

There was one red flag near the close of the morning test when Jenzer Motorsport’s Raoul Hyman stopped at Turn 7; however the action resumed with three minutes remaining.

At the chequered flag, Ceccon led Jones, Russell, Pizzitola, Trident’s Luca Ghiotto, Patrick Kujala (Arden International), Christopher Mies (Hilmer Motorsport), Ralph Boschung (Jenzer Motorsport), Mitch Gilbert (Arden International) and Matt Parry (Status Grand Prix).

Following GP2’s turn on track, GP3 returned for their afternoon session. The test was briefly halted when Trident’s Alex Palou spun, the Spaniard was able to continue and action resumed. Pizzitola set the early pace, first to lap in the 1m55’s in the afternoon session, with Gilbert hot on his tail.

Fuoco’s Koiranen GP car stopped on track causing a short interruption to proceedings but once the track was green Palou set the fastest first sector to go P3, with Mathéo Tuscher (replacing Ceccon for the afternoon test) in fourth.

With half an hour left on the clock, the session was red flagged when Carlin’s Matt Rao made contact with the barrier at turns 3-4. The track became live again with just five minutes remaining and at the chequered flag Pizzitola edged out Gilbert by a mere 0.053s. Palou, Tuscher, Russell, Artur Janosz (ART Grand Prix), Parry, Alfonso Celis. Jr (Status Grand Prix), Ryan Cullen (Koiranen GP) and Boschung completed the top ten.

Day two of testing will run at the same local times: 09.00 – 11.30 and 15.00 – 17.30 (GMT+4).

Yas Marina – Day 1: Morning

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Kevin Ceccon Jenzer Motorsport 1:55.501 26
2. Ed Jones Carlin 1:56.165 24
3. George Russell Arden International 1:56.198 27
4. Andrea Pizzitola ART Grand Prix 1:56.220 25
5. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:56.264 23
6. Patrick Kujala Arden International 1:56.309 18
7. Christopher Mies Hilmer Motorsport 1:56.474 32
8. Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.511 30
9. Mitch Gilbert Arden International 1:56.703 25
10. Matt Parry Status Grand Prix 1:56.705 26
11. Steijn Schothorst Koiranen GP 1:56.819 26
12. Antonio Fuoco Koiranen GP 1:56.973 20
13. Ryan Cullen Koiranen GP 1:56.993 16
14. Gustavo Menezes Carlin 1:57.043 30
15. Alex Palou Trident 1:57.176 25
16. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:57.189 23
17. Raoul Hyman Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.316 22
18. Tatiana Calderon ART Grand Prix 1:57.325 28
19. Ling Kang Hilmer Motorsport 1:57.341 21
20. Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1:57.670 19
21. Amaury Bonduel Trident 1:57.867 27
22. Matt Rao Carlin 1:58.265 24
23. Artur Janosz ART Grand Prix 1:58.557 20

Yas Marina – Day 1 – Afternoon

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Andrea Pizzitola ART Grand Prix 1:55.832 29
2. Mitch Gilbert Arden International 1:55.885 25
3. Alex Palou Trident 1:55.971 25
4. Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.034 22
5. George Russell Arden International 1:56.078 23
6. Artur Janosz ART Grand Prix 1:56.258 23
7. Matt Parry Status Grand Prix 1:56.475 22
8. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:56.491 25
9. Ryan Cullen Koiranen GP 1:56.517 20
10. Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.559 18
11. Gustavo Menezes Carlin 1:56.560 19
12. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:56.570 16
13. Steijn Schothorst Koiranen GP 1:56.595 15
14. Edward Jones Carlin 1:56.684 18
15. Antonio Fuoco Koiranen GP 1:56.783 26
16. Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1:56.846 19
17. Patrick Kujala Arden International 1:56.946 26
18. Raoul Hyman Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.989 30
19. Tatiana Calderon ART Grand Prix 1:57.068 22
20. Christopher Mies Hilmer Motorsport 1:57.404 28
21. Ling Kang Hilmer Motorsport 1:57.720 27
22. Armaury Bonduel Trident 1:59.153 19
23. Matt Rao Carlin 1:59.405 19