Nikita Bedrin was the driver to beat on the opening day of running at the second in-season test in Imola, leaving it late on to claim the honours in both sessions.
In a morning dominated by Qualifying simulations, the Jenzer Motorsport driver set a 1:31.445 in the final hour of the morning’s running, as less than a tenth separated him from Paul Aron and Gabriele Minì.
A disrupted afternoon running saw Bedrin put a 1:30.368 on the board in between the final two stoppages. Becoming only the second driver to reach the 1:30s so far, he finished comfortably clear of Gabriel Bortoleto and Dino Beganovic.
Formula 3’s second in-season test began with a leisurely start and with the track to himself, Tommy Smith put the first time of the day on the board 40 minutes into running. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver eventually lowered the initial benchmark to 1:33.664.
The action started to pick up around the two-hour mark, as Jonny Edgar set multiple personal bests to break into the 1:32s, before posting a 1:31.834. Having set the fastest time of the Barcelona test, Minì was eager to get back to the front, improving with a 1:31.517 to go three tenths clear of the MP Motorsport driver.
Two short Red Flag stoppages within the second hour would bring a halt to running. Firstly, Edgar beached himself in the gravel at Turn 3, before Hugh Barter stopped at Turn 1 in the #25 Campos Racing car.
Once back out on track and with an hour of running remaining, Bedrin bumped himself up to the top of the pile. Clocking in a 1:31.445, the Jenzer driver stayed ahead all the way to the chequered flag.
Minì would bring out the third and final Red Flag of the morning, momentarily coming to a halt at Turn 9. Claiming the most laps of the session with 37, the Italian eventually had to settle for P3. PREMA Racing’s Aron nudged in front of him late on, only 0.024s adrift of Bedrin’s leading time.
In contrast to the earlier running, times immediately began flooding in from the get-go, but it was Franco Colapinto who took the reins early on. A 1:32.620 saw the Williams Academy junior go nearly four tenths clear of MP teammate Mari Boya, before Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning closed the gap to 0.343s.
The Red Flag made another reappearance 45 minutes into running, as the Trident duo of Gabriel Bortoleto and Oliver Goethe both stopped on track. When the session resumed, Caio Collet broke into the 1:31s, before Josep María Martí put Campos Racing ahead with a 1:31.287.
Shaving another tenth off his benchmark, the Spaniard stayed out front by over six tenths as programmes switched over to race simulations. However, that didn’t stop several drivers clocking in their fastest attempts, as Minì scooted ahead by just 0.025s.
The top three could barely be split as Bortoleto took his turn in P1, with less than half a tenth separating him from Minì and Martí. Smashing through the 1:31s barrier, the Brazilian then carved a comfortable advantage, breaking over 0.45s clear of the pack.
As the final half an hour approached, two Red Flags would bring an early end to running with Leonardo Fornaroli finding the gravel on the exit of Turn 18. Shortly after the resumption, Mari Boya went off at Turn 10 with six minutes remaining to conclude the session.
In between the two pauses, there was enough time for Bedrin to secure his place at the top of the timing sheets once again. Firing in a 1:30.368, the #26 Jenzer slotted three tenths clear of Bortoleto, whilst Dino Beganovic claimed third, seven tenths adrift. Goethe and Rodin Carlin’s Oliver Gray made the most of their track time, notching 45 laps each on the board.
2023 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - IMOLA IN-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, MORNING SESSION
|1||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1:31.445||30|
|2||Paul Aron||PREMA Racing||1:31.469||21|
|3||Gabriele Minì||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:31.517||37|
|5||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1:31.633||30|
|6||Dino Beganovic||PREMA Racing||1:31.649||20|
|7||Grégoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1:31.700||23|
|9||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1:31.834||15|
|10||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1:31.874||31|
|12||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1:31.962||34|
|13||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1:31.967||14|
|14||Sebastián Montoya||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:31.990||31|
|15||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1:32.067||24|
|16||Zak O'Sullivan||PREMA Racing||1:32.204||21|
|17||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:32.249||29|
|18||Rafael Villagómez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:32.372||27|
|19||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:32.459||33|
|20||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:32.517||35|
|21||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1:32.620||25|
|22||Oliver Gray||Rodin Carlin||1:32.651||31|
|23||Josep María Martí||Campos Racing||1:32.811||16|
|24||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1:32.814||31|
|25||Alejandro García||Jenzer Motorsport||1:32.939||34|
|26||Ido Cohen||Rodin Carlin||1:32.852||30|
|27||Sophia Floersch||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:33.321||34|
|28||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:33.589||30|
|29||Luke Browning||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:33.853||21|
2023 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - IMOLA IN-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, AFTERNOON SESSION
|1||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1:30.368||37|
|3||Dino Beganovic||PREMA Racing||1:31.111||37|
|4||Gabriele Minì||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:31.141||33|
|5||Josep María Martí||Campos Racing||1:31.166||35|
|6||Grégoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1:31.242||40|
|7||Paul Aron||PREMA Racing||1:31.298||35|
|8||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1:31.499||42|
|10||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1:31.556||39|
|11||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1:31.560||38|
|12||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:31.772||40|
|13||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1:31.799||41|
|14||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1:31.910||38|
|15||Oliver Gray||Rodin Carlin||1:31.967||45|
|16||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1:32.062||29|
|17||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1:32.092||25|
|18||Luke Browning||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:32.142||43|
|19||Rafael Villagómez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:32.223||39|
|21||Sebastián Montoya||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:32.299||26|
|22||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1:32.385||28|
|23||Sophia Floersch||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:32.700||33|
|24||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:32.891||22|
|25||Ido Cohen||Rodin Carlin||1:32.897||43|
|26||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:33.620||36|
|27||Alejandro García||Jenzer Motorsport||1:33.650||40|
|28||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:34.386||22|
|29||Zak O'Sullivan||PREMA Racing||1:34.538||22|