Joel enjoyed a strong start to the 2017 FIA F3 World Cup in Macau by going a convincing second fastest in Thursday’s opening free practice session.
Returning to the ultra-demanding street track for the second time following his 2016 Macau debut, Joel proved immediately capable of using his experience to good effect around the Guia Circuit.
Posting a 2m14.916s best, Joel eventually wound up second fastest, trailing Motopark with VEB team-mate Sérgio Sette Câmara by just a mere tenth of a second. It was a strong performance overall from the Oschersleben-based squad, with Dan Ticktum taking third.
European F3 champion Lando Norris, whom Joel battled for the title for a large proporition of the season, was sixth.
Uncharacteristically for Macau, the session ran largely incident-free and required not a single red-flag stoppage.
Coming up next today is first qualifying.
Next session: Qualifying 1, 14.15 local time (GMT+08:00).
“It’s like I suspected: it’s a completely different thing coming back here for the second time. I feel much, much more confident pushing the car closer to the barriers, and it’s a big difference compared to last year. It’s a promising start, for sure, both for myself and for the team in total. It’s still very early days, however, and we need to keep working hard to try and maintain this level of competitiveness when it really counts.”
RESULTS – Free Practice 1