Joel got the FIA F3 European Championship finale at Hockenheim underway in promising fashion by going a close second quickest in practice on Friday morning.
The leading times all came in the second of two 40-minute sessions at the German Grand Prix track, with Joel lapping just 0.034s slower than Prema Powerteam rival Callum Ilott who set the pace with a 1m31.891s.
Championship leader Lando Norris was third, just over a tenth adrift of Joel, while just three quarters of a second covered the top 16.
Joel and Norris found themselves sandwiched by Prema’s full quartet of cars, with Ilott’s team-mates Mick Schumacher, Maximilian Günther and Guan Yu Zhou taking fourth, fifth and sixth.
Practice took place in lovely autumnal weather conditions, expected to stay largely unchanged throughout the remainder of the weekend. There were no red flags or other significant incidents.
Due to an issue with his own helmet, Joel completed practice wearing one normally used by team-mate Keyvan Andres Soori.
Next session: Qualifying 1, 13.25 local time (GMT+02:00).
“A good start to the weekend. It was a pretty straightforward couple of sessions with no particular drama, which allowed us to complete the things we wanted to. The car feels alright, even though – like always – there is room for improvement. We could use some more traction out of the slow corners, for example, but in general I’m pleased with the baseline we seem to have. Now, we will make the finishing touches to the set-up ahead of qualifying, and try to get the job done there.”
RESULTS – Free Practice