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Collet tops snowy F3 pre-season testing 

Caio Collet during F3 pre-season testing in Austria. Credits: Getty Images.

Alpine junior driver, Caio Collet, finished the Formula 3 pre-season testing on top, beating the track record at Spielberg ahead of Dennis Hauger, driving for PREMA, and Hitech Grand Prix’s Jack Crawford. 

The morning session started with a surprise on the Austrian mountains as a snowfall welcomed the drivers and the teams. Due to these strange weather conditions, the cars could not exit the pits immediately. Campos Racing and Jenzer hit the track for an installation lap but did not set a lap time. 

When the snow stopped falling from the sky, the first team to set a time was MP Motorsport, with Victor Martins, who set the fastest lap (1:20.785). Then, it was Crawford who went ahead of everyone with a time of 1:19.278. 

As soon as the first lap times were set, every other driver left the pit and started to cover kilometers around the Red Bull Ring. The fastest time of Crawford was beaten by Calan Williams, who became the fastest F3 driver around the circuit (1:18.836). 

Matteo Nannini (1:18.858) and Kaylen Frederik (1:18.901) went second and third fastest, just behind the Jenzer Motorsport driver. Martins (1:18.912) and Crawford (1:18.915) completed the top five. 

Tijmen Van der Helm’s stopped in the gravel trap at turn 6, and Jack Doohan had a similar problem in turn 7 with only 15 minutes to go. 

The top ten of the morning session was completed by Michael Belov (1:18.943), followed by his Charuz Racing System teammate Logan Sargeant (1:18.981), Frederick Vesti finished in P8 (1:19.015), David Schumacher in P9 (1:19.086), and Caio Collet completed the top ten with a time of 1:19.099.

The afternoon session started regularly without any snowfall. The first driver to put in some laps was Jonny Edgar, followed by Crawford. 

The American driver became the second one to break the lap time record at Spielberg, setting a time of 1:18.775. Later, the record was beaten again by Dennis Hauger (1:18.711) and shortly after by the leader of Day 2, Caio Collet (1:18.592). 

The afternoon session stopped twice. The first time because Williams spun at turn 10, then because Ayumu Iwasa’s car stopped on the main straight. 

The second day of pre-season testing concluded with Collet on top, ahead of Hauger and Crawford. Behind them, Edgard (1.18.791) and Nannini, who completed the top five (1:18.866). Just outside the top five finished Vesti (1:18.880), Clément Novalak (1:18.886), Belov (1:18.894), Olli Caldwell for PREMA (1:18.993), and the last driver to complete the top ten was Alexandr Smolyar with a time of 1:19.005.

The next F3 pre-season testing will be held in Barcelona on 21-22 April. 

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