Felix set the fourth quickest time as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship sprung back to life with the first of two days of official in-season testing at Imola on Tuesday.
With the F3 fraternity returning to action following a two-month break, teams and drivers were left eager to accumulate as much running as possible in their preparations for this weekend’s up-coming races at the Italian venue.
The fastest times were recorded in the afternoon session, with Jake Dennis topping the timesheets on a 1m36.808s and Felix ending up some two tenths slower on a 1m37.007s in fourth. Tuesday’s running marked Felix’s first acquaintance with the Imola circuit, which he labelled “a lot quicker than expected”.
Interestingly, Felix lost a massive two tenths in the rather unusual, ultra-short first sector applied for this week’s test – a seven-second burst from the start/finish line to the first corner. The leading times at this part of the lap featured all three Van Amersfoort Racing cars in the top four, with new Toro Rosso Formula 1 signing Max Verstappen – fresh from his FP1 outing at the Japanese Grand Prix – topping the charts with a 7.140s best ahead of team-mate Gustavo Menezes (7.227s). Felix’s best was a 7.365s, which left him 20th quickest in sector one.
By contrast, Felix then went outright fastest through sector two, which spans the fast Tamburello and Villeneuve corners, and second quickest in sector three.
Felix completed a total of 79 laps across the day, while Menezes racked up a mammoth 119 tours to lead the kilometre count at the former F1 track.
The test concludes tomorrow.