MP Motorsport continued their impressive start to 2021, as Alpine junior Victor Martins finished fastest on Day 1 of pre-season testing in Barcelona, beating out Trident’s Red Bull junior Jack Doohan and ART Grand Prix’s Mercedes prodigy Frederik Vesti.

MP finished on top in the opening test of the season at Spielberg thanks to Caio Collet, but in Spain it was the Brazilian’s teammate, Martins, in first place, the young French driver dominating the day to finish at the top of the standings by nearly seven tenths.

Unable to touch Martins for pace, Doohan and Vesti were left to spar for P2 on the timesheets, finishing just 0.024s apart.

MORNING

Pirelli’s wet tyres enjoyed a run-out on the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, with rain coming down in the early hours of the morning and leaving the track a bit soggy at the start of the session.

Carlin Buzz Racing were the first team to send all three of their drivers out for anything more than an install lap, although it was MP who topped the timesheet in the opening half an hour as Collet got a feel for the circuit, lapping at 1:48.868. The Brazilian then improved on his time to retain P1, running at 1:48.416.

There was a brief stoppage as Roman Stanek came to a halt on track at turn 12 and brought out a Red Flag. Thankfully, Hitech Grand Prix were able to get the Czech back out there and he eventually finished in P8.

Crawford topped the morning session with a time of 1:33.247

Carlin were amongst the first to switch to slicks as Jonny Edgar sliced the time down to 1:40.896, with his teammate Kaylen Frederik in third, nearly 2s behind. The rest of the field followed suit with a run of qualifying simulations, but it was Carlin who continued on top, as Edgar further cut his laptime down to 1:34.028, before his teammate, Frederik, eclipsed that time by 0.004s.

The duo were pushed down to second and third by Hitech’s Jak Crawford, who was the first driver to break the 1m 34s barrier, and by some distance, setting 1:33.247 to finish the morning on top.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Pierre-Louis Chovet – whose tally of 42 laps was the highest in the morning - nipped into second ahead of the flag, dropping the Carlin pairing one place further.

HWA RACELAB’s Matteo Nannini completed the top five, ahead of Chovet’s teammate Filip Ugran and Charouz Racing System’s Reshad de Gerus. Jenzer were the only team with all three cars in the top 10, as Calan Williams finished ninth, ahead of HWA’s Oliver Rasmussen.

AFTERNOON

It took less than an hour for ART racer Vesti to better Crawford’s best lap from the morning, dipping under 1m 33s for the first time at pre-season testing Barcelona.

MP teammates Martins and Collet started a sparring match shortly after, as they wrestled P1 back and forth from one another. It was the former who eventually came out on top, beating his teammate with a time of 1:31.743.

Doohan was second fastest overall, setting 1:32.369

Collet dropped further down the order as Trident began a series of fast laps, with Clément Novalak skidding into second ahead of Doohan. Doohan and Vesti both had further attempts and managed to make it up to second and third, but remained nearly seven tenths off the leading pace.

Crawford succeeded in beating his own best time from the morning, but could only manage fifth overall in the afternoon, ahead of Charouz’s Michael Belov. PREMA Racing’s Dennis Hauger dove into seventh, pushing Collet down to P8 at the flag. Logan Sargeant and Smolyar completed the top 10.

The final day of pre-season will get underway at 9am (local time) on Thursday, with the 30-strong grid looking to firm up their preparations ahead of the season opener in Barcelona.

2021 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - BARCELONA PRE-SEASON TESTS, DAY 1, MORNING SESSION

DRIVERTEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Jak CrawfordHitech Grand Prix1:33.67441
2Pierre-Louis ChovetJenzer Motorsport1:34.02342
3Kaylen FrederickCarlin Buzz Racing1:34.02438
4Jonny EdgarCarlin Buzz Racing1:34.02837
5Matteo NanniniHWA RACELAB1:34.12636
6Filip UgranJenzer Motorsport1:34.27437
7Reshad de GerusCharouz Racing System1:34.35233
8Roman StanekHitech Grand Prix1:34.36916
9Calan WilliamsJenzer Motorsport1:34.37141
10Oliver RasmussenHWA RACELAB1:34.40737
11Amaury CordeelCampos Racing1:34.52746
12Micheal BelovCharouz Racing System1:34.57034
13Rafael VillagomezHWA RACELAB1:34.84439
14Ido CohenCarlin Buzz Racing1:35.13536
15Ayumu IwasaHitech Grand Prix1:35.52337
16László TóthCampos Racing1:36.05641
17Jack DoohanTrident1:40.11635
18David SchumacherTrident1:41.11436
19Tijmen van der HelmMP Motorsport1:42.62624
20Victor MartinsMP Motorsport1:44.68033
21Arthur LeclercPREMA Racing1:44.84937
22Olli CaldwellPREMA Racing1:44.86338
23Logan SargeantCharouz Racing System1:45.21737
24Caio ColletMP Motorsport1:45.27733
25Alexander SmolyarART Grand Prix1:45.42130
26Juan Manuel CorreaART Grand Prix1:45.95634
27Frederik VestiART Grand Prix1:45.96426
28Dennis HaugerPREMA Racing1:46.05730
29Lorenzo ColomboCampos Racing1:46.41734
30Clément NovalakTrident1:48.98232

2021 FIA FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP - BARCELONA PRE-SEASON TESTS, DAY 1, AFTERNOON SESSION

DRIVERTEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Victor MartinsMP Motorsport1:31.74350
2Jack DoohanTrident1:32.36928
3Frederik VestiART Grand Prix1:32.42344
4Clément NovalakTrident1:32.44728
5Jak CrawfordHitech Grand Prix1:32.49349
6Michael BelovCharouz Racing System1:32.54324
7Dennis HaugerPREMA Racing1:32.63935
8Caio ColletMP Motorsport1:32.64249
9Logan SargeantCharouz Racing System1:32.67939
10Alexander SmolyarART Grand Prix1:32.74748
11Olli CadwellPREMA Racing1:32.80035
12Roman StanekHitech Grand Prix1:32.82150
13Calan WilliamsJenzer Motorsport1:32.85238
14David SchumacherTrident1:32.91547
15Matteo NanniniHWA RACELAB1:32.94041
16Arthur LeclercPREMA Racing1:32.94737
17Kaylen FrederickCarlin Buzz Racing1:32.96036
18Juan Manuel CorreaART Grand Prix1:33.01347
19Rafael VillagomezHWA RACELAB1:33.17041
20Amaury CordeelCampos Racing1:33.19839
21Oliver RassussenHWA RACELAB1:33.22341
22Jonny EdgarCarlin Buzz Racing1:33.31335
23Lorenzo ColomboCampos Racing1:33.32833
24Ido CohenCarlin Buzz Racing1:33.34335
25Tijmen van der HelmMP Motorsport1:33.36449
26Pierre-Louis ChovetJenzer Motorsport1:33.44835
27Filip UgranJenzer Motorsport1:33.49738
28Reshad de GerusCharouz Racing System1:33.93335
29Ayumu IwasaHitech Grand Prix1:34.04850
30László TóthCampos Racing1:34.48533