Following the winter break, it was Grégoire Saucy who hit the ground running in Sakhir. The Swiss driver topped the morning and afternoon sessions on the opening day of pre-season testing for ART Grand Prix.
Saucy waited until late in the morning to post his fastest effort as the field spent time getting back up to speed with the F3 machinery. In the afternoon, he was in similar form and as the times fell, he moved back to the top of the times and stayed there to the end.
Everyone was out of the garages immediately for installation laps, but it was Tommy Smith who was the first to put a laptime on the board for Van Amersfoort Racing. The Australian’s 1:51.521 was the only time on the board in the opening hour.
He shaved off a little more time as the clock ticked over into the final hour of a relatively quiet opening segment. Only three other drivers completed timed laps before a final flurry, those courtesy of the Hitech Pulse-Eight trio.
With just over half an hour remaining, the track began to fill up. Nikita Bedrin was the first beneath the 1:50s, but plenty followed. Grégoire Saucy managed to better the Jenzer Motorsport driver’s time, beating it fractionally with a 1:51.155 to end the first morning fastest of all.
Luke Browning was the busiest driver of the session, logging 29 laps in the #16 Hitech Pulse-Eight.
A much faster start to the afternoon followed, with all teams bar Hitech Pulse-Eight immediately out on track. Gabriel Bortoleto of Trident set the early pace on a1:49.366 that put him 0.241s clear of Caio Collet in P2 after the opening half an hour.
With just under an hour and a half remaining of Day 1, Gabriele Minì went fastest and then beat his own time to go onto a 1:48.453. He bettered that twice over, moving onto a 1:48.214 with under 50 minutes of the day left.
PREMA Racing made a leap up the table as everyone entered the final 45 minutes of running. Paul Aron closed to within 0.033s of Minì’s table-topping time before going P1 himself with a 1:47.889. Teammate Zak O’Sullivan popped up in P2, while Dino Beganovic went fifth-fastest.
Fastest man in the morning, Saucy took back the top spot with a 1:47.692 approaching the final half hour of the day. Josep María Martí moved himself up to third in his Campos Racing car.
Saucy lowered the time to beat to a 1:47.563 inside the final 10 minutes as plenty of personal bests filtered through, but the ART driver remained fastest to the chequered flag.
2023 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, MORNING SESSION
|1||Grégoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1:49.155||9|
|2||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1:49.199||14|
|3||Zak O’Sullivan||PREMA Racing||1:49.448||10|
|4||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1:49.456||9|
|5||Josep María Martí||Campos Racing||1:49.500||16|
|7||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:49.619||7|
|8||Paul Aron||PREMA Racing||1:49.687||12|
|9||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1:49.712||12|
|10||Dino Beganovic||PREMA Racing||1:49.797||13|
|11||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1:49.819||10|
|12||Hunter Yeany||Rodin Carlin||1:49.899||10|
|13||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1:49.901||9|
|14||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1:50.098||16|
|16||Alejandro García||Jenzer Motorsport||1:50.253||13|
|18||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1:50.670||10|
|19||Ido Cohen||Rodin Carlin||1:50.810||9|
|20||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1:50.871||10|
|21||Luke Browning||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:50.881||29|
|22||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1:51.078||15|
|23||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:51.332||26|
|24||Gabriele Minì||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:51.545||28|
|25||Sebastian Montoya||Campos Racing||1:51.704||25|
|26||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:52.052||10|
|27||Oliver Gray||Rodin Carlin||1:52.196||9|
|28||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:52.399||7|
|29||Rafael Villagómez||Van Amersfoort Racing||2:01.365||5|
|30||Sophia Flörsch||PHM Racing by Charouz||-||3|
2023 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, AFTERNOON SESSION
|1||Grégoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1:47.563||28|
|2||Paul Aron||PREMA Racing||1:47.889||34|
|3||Josep María Martí||Campos Racing||1:48.125||29|
|4||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1:48.136||31|
|5||Zak O'Sullivan||PREMA Racing||1:48.162||34|
|6||Luke Browning||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:48.206||26|
|7||Gabriele Minì||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:48.214||14|
|8||Dino Beganovic||PREMA Racing||1:48.279||34|
|9||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1:48.393||28|
|10||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1:48.434||26|
|11||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1:48.455||29|
|14||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1:48.775||30|
|15||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:48.776||32|
|16||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1:48.792||31|
|17||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1:48.796||31|
|18||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:48.880||22|
|19||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1:48.902||29|
|20||Rafael Villagómez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:48.909||33|
|22||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1:49.184||27|
|23||Ido Cohen||Rodin Carlin||1:49.344||33|
|24||Hunter Yeany||Rodin Carlin||1:49.474||27|
|25||Alejandro Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1:49.509||26|
|26||Oliver Gray||Rodin Carlin||1:49.668||33|
|27||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:49.918||26|
|28||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:49.946||34|
|29||Sophia Flörsch||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:50.079||32|
|30||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:51.078||28|