Italian racer Antonio Giovinazzi delivered an outstanding performance for Double R Racing during officially timed FIA Formula 3 European Championship testing at Monza on Tuesday, 19th March, to conclude the outing a highly impressive fifth fastest overall, and top rookie, in his Dallara-Mercedes.
Just a few days away from the opening event of the 2013 season at the world famous Italian Grand Prix venue, the 19-year-old F3 rookie was consistently strong throughout on home soil. Lapping with the second fastest time in the morning session, 1m47.235 seconds, he was then fifth in the quicker afternoon run with a best of 1m45.789 seconds to end the day just 0.4 seconds shy of the pace.
Off the back of a similarly impressive outing during official testing at Barcelona in Spain just over a week ago, Giovinazzi has certainly hit the ground running ahead of his – and the team’s – maiden season in the pan-European championship which begins this weekend, 23rd/24th March.
Team-mate Sean Gelael, at 16-years-of-age the youngest and, by far, least experienced driver in the championship, also made significant improvements between the two sessions. Lapping in 1m49.029 seconds in the morning, the Indonesian sliced 1.5 seconds off that in the four hour afternoon session to end the test with a quickest time of 1m47.548 seconds.
Female racer Tatiana Calderón, like Giovinazzi and Gelael embarking on her first ever season in F3, managed to improve by 1.6 seconds between the two sessions to end the day with a fastest lap time of 1m48.203 seconds. The 19-year-old, from Bogota in Colombia, is one of two lady racers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this year but was comfortably the quickest of the pair.
Running on day one of the test, Monday, 18th March, was cancelled due to unseasonal snow and ice and although yesterday’s action did have a delayed start, six hours of track time was available to the competitors with Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt pleased with initial progress.
“We’re glad to have been so competitive, Antonio was quick all day and for a rookie to have been so consistently fast was very impressive”, said Hieatt, “He’s certainly made a great start and we’ve got high hopes for the weekend’s racing.
“Sean had a couple of moments during the day but he did a good job, and improved throughout. As the youngest driver in the championship it’s a massive step and learning curve, but he’s on the right path. Tatiana had a decent test too, there were a few issues with braking but we sorted those out during the day and she made good progress. At this early stage, we feel it’ll be a good season.”
Double R will be back in action at Monza on Friday, 22nd March, for free practice and qualifying ahead of the opening three rounds of the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Race one will take place on Saturday, 23rd March, with two further races on Sunday, 24th March.
Live timing throughout the Monza weekend will be available at www.fiaf3europe.com while live television coverage of the action will be screened on digital satellite and cable channel Motors TV.