Lucas Auer was fastest during a delayed opening free practice session for the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on Thursday.

The Mucke Motorsport driver had traded times with Carlin rival Tom Blomqvist for much of the incident-filled session – but set his best effort in the closing minutes to end practice on top.

In the end, Blomqvist was also pipped for second place by his Carlin team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.

The best times came after a brief red flag period caused by Mitsunori Takaboshi crashing his car into the barriers at Moorish Hill.

Esteban Ocon, one of the pre-event favourites, was unlucky to be one of the first drivers on to the scene of Takaboshi’s accident and swiped the stricken B-Max Racing car.

The incident damaged Ocon’s left front suspension, bringing his session to an early end, but his car should be repaired in time for qualifying.

Max Verstappen, taking part in his final F3 race before his move to F1, ended up seventh overall in his Van Amersfoort car.

There were a number of other incidents during the session, which had been delayed for an hour so track officials could make repairs to barriers at Police that had been damaged in a previous session.

That area of the track proved particularly tricky throughout the session. TOM’S driver Sam MacLeod crashed off there after 15 minutes of the session.

Following Takaboshi’s incident, Spike Goddard also crashed in the same spot with just a few minutes to go.

The biggest accident was suffered by Dan Wells, who spun his Toda Racing car into the barriers at Fisherman’s Bend.

His Dallara suffered major damage to the rear, but he was able to climb out unaided.

Jonathan Noble –