Honda protégé Nirei Fukuzumi posted the quickest time in both the morning and afternoon session on day one of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit. The ART Grand Prix driver’s best time was set in the afternoon with a 1:55.479. Jack Aitken (testing for French squad ART GP) was second quickest in both sessions.

Following the conclusion of the 2016 GP3 Series season, the teams embarked on a three day post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Fukuzumi was first into the 1m56’s ahead of Aitken. Jenzer Motorsport’s Alessio Lorandi then headed the timings, with Aitken lapping a mere 0.001s slower than the Italian.

DAMS’ Santino Ferrucci then picked up the pace to lead the pack before there was a red flag due a signalling issue along with Arjun Maini – testing for Trident, stopped on track. There was a second interruption to proceedings at Turn 7 as there was debris on track.

Once the action resumed, Fukuzumi lapped second fastest before Aitken displaced the Japanese driver. Maini then shot up to P2, posting a time a tenth off the American driver. Trident and Ferrari Driver Academy’s Giuliano Alesi then leapt up the order to set the quickest time of the session before Fukuzumi returned to the top of the timesheet.

As the clock ticked down, Fukuzumi increased his advantage over the field to half a second with Aitken and George Russell (also testing for the reigning Team Champions) making it an ART one-two-three until Maini rose to third in the latter moments.

Fukuzumi bettered his personal best by dipping into the 1m55’s to retain P1 at the chequered flag. Aitken, Maini, Russell, Alesi, Niko Kari (Arden), Santino Ferrucci, Steijn Schothorst (DAMS), Lorandi and Ryan Tveter (Trident) completed the top ten.

Following the break in action, the GP3 drivers returned to the track for the afternoon session. Lorandi set the initial pace before Alesi demoted the Jenzer driver to P2 after thirty minutes. Ferrucci then shot to the top of the timesheet and bettered his own personal best a lap later as he broke into the 1m56’s.

Marcos Siebert went second fastest before Koiranen GP’s Patricio O’Ward took P2 from the Jenzer tester. Honda’s Fukuzumi returned to his sparkling morning form shooting to the head of the timings, three hundredths quicker than Ferrucci.

Meanwhile the ART duo of Russell and Aitken moved up to second and third respectively before a brief red flag period when Kari stopped at Turn 1. Fukuzumi retained P1 at the chequered flag, ahead of Aitken, Russell, Maini, Ferrucci, Lorandi, Raoul Hyman, Alesi, Schothorst and Tveter.

Day One – morning session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:55.853 24
2. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:56.408 23
3. Arjun Maini Trident 1:56.460 22
4. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:56.522 24
5. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:56.550 21
6. Niko Kari Arden International 1:56.588 33
7. Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1:56.726 15
8. Steijn Schothorst DAMS 1:56.793 22
9. Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.841 21
10. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:57.048 24
11. Matheus Leist Arden International 1:57.279 27
12. Raoul Hyman DAMS 1:57.281 28
13. Pedro Cardoso Trident 1:57.392 24
14. Bruno Baptista Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.550 26
15. Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 1:57.610 26
16. Max Defourny ART Grand Prix 1:57.629 23
17. Dorian Boccolacci Arden International 1:57.749 28
18. Patricio O’Ward Koiranen GP 1:58.063 14
19. Marcos Siebert Jenzer Motorsport 1:58.473 29
20. Julian Falchero Campos Racing 1:58.481 25
21. Robert Shwartzman Koiranen GP 1:59.283 22
22. Tarun Reddy Koiranen GP 1:59.520 15
23. Petru Florescu Campos Racing 2:01.085 27


Afternoon session      
1. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:55.479 35
2. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:55.712 33
3. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:55.732 33
4. Arjun Maini Trident 1:56.062 25
5. Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1:56.108 21
6. Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.123 25
7. Raoul Hyman DAMS 1:56.253 26
8. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:56.491 19
9. Steijn Schothorst DAMS 1:56.558 27
10. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:56.582 26
11. Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 1:56.659 19
12. Dorian Boccolacci Arden International 1:56.756 26
13. Patricio O’Ward Koiranen GP 1:56.757 22
14. Matheus Leist Arden International 1:56.839 25
15. Max Defourny ART Grand Prix 1:56.892 33
16. Bruno Baptista Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.016 23
17. Pedro Cardoso Trident 1:57.112 29
18. Marcos Siebert Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.164 27
19. Robert Schwartzman Koiranen GP 1:57.346 22
20. Julian Falchero Campos Racing 1:57.355 22
21. Tarun Reddy Koiranen GP 1:57.766 28
22. Petru Florescu Campos Racing 1:59.387 30
23. Niko Kari Koiranen GP 2:00.824 19

GP3 Press Release