The F3 fraternity regrouped at the picturesque Red Bull Ring just three days after the opening test of the year in Budapest (a test topped by Felix), taking advantage of lovely spring weather to intensify preparations ahead of next weekend’s curtain-raiser at Silverstone.
Felix completed a total of 75 laps during the day, fewer than most of his rivals, as engine and gearbox fine-tuning remained an important focus amid the new technical regulations. The majority of the 27 drivers on site set their fastest laps in the afternoon session, in which Felix took third behind last-gasp improvers Felix Serralles (Team West-TecF3) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Carlin).
Eurointernational’s Riccardo Agostini, meanwhile, topped the earlier morning session with a time eventually good enough to land him third overall - a fraction ahead of Felix, who wound up with the day’s fourth-quickest effort.
Lucas Auer, on home soil in the Austrian mountains, was the second-best placed Mücke Motorsport runner, half a second down on Felix.
Pre-season testing for the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship draws to a close tomorrow.
“An OK day of testing, although we had some gearbox issues that held us back a little bit. There is a new system in place this year with paddles on the steering wheel instead of the old lever we’ve been using before, and we just need to ensure it works properly. I’m confident we’ll get very much on top of it before the start of the season, however, and other than that, the car feels strong and solid.
“Tomorrow is the final day of testing before Silverstone, so it will be important to get through our programme and set ourselves up for a competitive season.”