28 young guns travelled to Spain for the first official FIA Formula 3 European Championship test, held at Barcelona’s 4.655-kilometre GP circuit on Friday and Saturday. Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam, 1:41.023 minutes) set the fastest lap time of the day, followed by his team-mate Alex Lynn (1:42.463 minutes). William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport, 1:41.688 minutes) took his Nissan powered Dallara to third position.

In dry conditions and brilliant sunshine, Ferrari Driver Academy protégé Raffaele Marciello set the fastest time of the day as early as in the morning session, with Alex Lynn and William Buller also setting their fastest times before the lunch break. “A good start into the season,” said Buller who finished fifth in the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series. “Both team and engine are new to me but we jointly did a good job. I’m really happy with our performance and even more so as we used the afternoon session for executing our scheduled test programme instead of trying to set fast lap times.” The goals of the Briton are clearly defined: “I want to have fun and win the title.”

Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam, 1:41.758 minutes), Harry came fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. “The level in the European Championship is really high, there are a lot of fast drivers on the grid who also have got experience with the Hankook tyres,” said Sweden’s Grenhagen. “I’m lacking this experience and so, I wasn’t able to make full use of the tyres’ potential. I certainly still have to learn some things but the beginning wasn’t too bad.”

Sven Müller (ma-con, 1:41.918 minutes) finished seventh and also came to a positive conclusion. “There are several new fast drivers on the grid and the field is extremely competitive,” he said. “I’m driving for ma-con, now, but I already know the squad from my ADAC Formula Masters days. And the cooperation was good again right from the start.” Jordan King (Carlin, 1:41.973 minutes), Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport, 1:41.990 minutes) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing, 1:42.059 minutes) completed the top 10.

The best girl racer of the 28-driver field was Tatiana Calderón (Double R Racing, 1:42.634 minutes) who finished 20th, on the first official day of testing of the new season. “Never before have I raced in such a top-class series. The European Championship is contested by the best Formula 3 drivers worldwide and some of them definitely will make it to Formula 1. I learned a lot of new things today and I certainly will keep on doing so. I’m totally delighted with having the chance of racing in this series and I’m also really happy with my performance.”

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