It was Mitch Evans who was quickest as GP3 took to the famous streets of Monaco for the first time in the Series’ history. The drivers were eager to get to grips with the tricky track for their maiden visit to the Principality. The session ran in dry conditions after rain earlier in the afternoon had threatened to spoil the drivers’ first attempts around the challenging street circuit.
As the 26 drivers encountered the twisty turns of Monte Carlo for the very first time (excluding Kevin Ceccon who has previous experience at Monaco) it was time to get familiar with the demanding course and test their limits. Carlin’s Antonio Felix Da Costa was the first man to set a lap time and was the early pace setter, quickly followed by his team mate William Buller.
The session was a lively one with everyone wanting to maximise the forty minutes of vital track time with positions swapping at the top continuously. Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas shot to P1 before Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio took his turn at the top of the timesheets.
At the midway point, it was Evans who went quickest, taking over from Felix Da Costa. With 8 minutes to go Daly rose to P2 and the Portuguese ace reclaimed his place back at the top of the standings. However, Evans became the only driver to break into the 1.28s barrier and set the fastest time of practice, seven tenths faster than his Carlin rival to end the session on top.
The practice was red flagged with two minutes remaining after Buller spun and stopped on track. As the clock ran down, the positions remained unchanged with Daly in P3, ahead of Vainio, Ceccon, Alex Brundle, David Fumanelli, Daniel Abt, Matias Laine and Marlon Stockinger.
Qualifying will be split into two groups (odd numbered cars and evens) and each session will run for 14 minutes. The fastest driver overall will take pole position and the session will start at 07.40 CET Friday morning.