Arden International’s Jack Aitken fastest in opening session in Malaysia
Briton Jack Aitken set the quickest time in free practice at the Sepang International Circuit as the GP3 Series marked its maiden visit to the track. The Arden and Renault Sport Academy’s driver best laptime was a 1:50.883. DAMS’ Kevin Joerg and ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries completed the top three.
In a change to the traditional schedule, GP3 free practice has been run on a Thursday with the session running for 30 minutes. There were two changes to the line-up compared to Monza: Italian rookie Alessio Lorandi has joined Jenzer Motorsport, whilst Koiranen GP runs with two drivers only.
Under cloudy conditions, the drivers took to the track; with the large majority of them driving the track for the first time. ART Grand Prix’s Alexander Albon set the initial pace, ahead of De Vries and Jake Hughes. Trident’s Antonio Fuoco rose to P2 within the first ten minutes as the drivers returned to the pitlane for changes at the midway point of the session.
Albon was first to lap into the 1m51’s, closely followed by his teammate and Honda driver Nirei Fukuzumi. Sandy Stuvik was hot on his tails and recorded a laptime 0.001s shy of his fellow countryman. Scuderia Ferrari Team Development driver and Series leader Charles Leclerc found some extra pace to fly to the head of the timesheet, before McLaren protégé De Vries bettered his time to go top.
Aitken was on a charge and shot to P1, before De Vries retaliated, gaining one tenth on the Briton. Joerg shot to the top spot in the final moments, but it was Aitken who saved the best until the last to reclaim P1 and lead the pack as the chequered flag was waved to signify the end of the session.
Aitken, Joerg, De Vries, Jake Dennis, Santino Ferrucci, Arjun Maini, Alexander Albon, Fukuzumi, Leclerc and Nandy completed the top ten.
Qualifying takes place at 16.50 local time tomorrow morning (GMT+8).
Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jack Aitken
Arden International
1:50.883
14
2.
Kevin Joerg
DAMS
1:51.050
12
3.
Nyck de Vries
ART Grand Prix
1:51.176
13
4.
Jake Dennis
Arden International
1:51.209
13
5.
Santino Ferrucci
DAMS
1:51.258
13
6.
Arjun Maini
Jenzer Motorsport
1:51.270
13
7.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
1:51.361
14
8.
Nirei Fukuzumi
ART Grand Prix
1:51.511
13
9.
Charles Leclerc
ART Grand Prix
1:51.555
14
10.
Akash Nandy
Jenzer Motorsport
1:51.605
14
11.
Steijn Schothorst
Campos Racing
1:51.688
13
12.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:51.721
14
13.
Jake Hughes
DAMS
1:51.751
12
14.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:51.754
14
15.
Antonio Fuoco
Trident
1:51.844
13
16.
Sandy Stuvik
Trident
1:51.874
12
17.
Alessio Lorandi
Jenzer Motorsport
1:52.233
13
18.
Giuliano Alesi
Trident
1:52.417
12
19.
Tatiana Calderon
Arden International
1:52.818
12
20.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:52.874
12
21.
Konstantin Tereschenko
Campos Racing
1:53.016
13
22.
Matevos Isaakyan
Koiranen GP
1:53.154
10