Mick Schumacher tops first day of opening European F3 test, Kiwi Armstrong third quickest

Mick Schumacher topped the opening day of official pre-season testing for the 2018 Formula 3 European Championship, which got underway at the Hungaroring.

The son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher set the day’s overall fastest time during the opening hour of running, and it remained unbeaten by the 23-car field after a total of five and a half hours split across two sessions.

Prema Powerteam driver Schumacher, who took one podium finish in his rookie F3 season last year, beat Hitech GP’s Alex Palou by 0.081-seconds in the short, two-hour morning session.

Palou led most of the longer afternoon period, and then lowered his best time in a run towards the end of the day to end up just 0.044s adrift of Schumacher’s morning effort.

Prema had three more drivers in the top five, with reigning Italian Formula 4 champion and Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong pipping third-year F3 racers Ralf Aron and Guan Yu Zhou to the third quickest time.

The trio all set their best times during the opening hour of the day.

Most of Carlin’s Volkswagen-powered cars set their quickest times in the afternoon, with 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup champion Sacha Fenestraz and Force India prospect Jehan Daruvala ending that period second and third, their times putting them sixth and seventh on the day.

Ferdinand Habsburg, who was the top Carlin runner in the morning but went no faster in the afternoon, slipped to eighth overall.

The winner of the 2017 BRDC British F3 title, Enaam Ahmed, made a vast improvement in the afternoon to plant his Hitech-run car in sixth place in that session, and he ended up ninth on the day.

Ahmed’s performance also meant he shaded the morning effort of 2017 Macau Grand Prix victor and McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum, by 0.001s to earn the honour of top Briton.

Ticktum headed the six-strong Motopark team, but only by a few hundredths from South African Jonathan Aberdein, who is a graduate of German F4.

The other Brit, Ben Hingeley, finished the day in 21st position in the other Hitech machine.

The test continues tomorrow, before the field makes the short trip to the Red Bull Ring for more running next Monday and Tuesday.

Mick Schumacher tops first day of opening European F3 test, Kiwi Armstrong third quickest

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