Joel brought the FIA F3 European Championship meeting at Zandvoort to a start with seventh place in Friday free practice, as lap times indicated a record-breaking weekend in hand in the Netherlands.
With the Zandvoort track having been resurfaced ahead of this season, increased grip levels in conjunction with the higher-downforce 2017 FIA F3 aero kit are expected to produce seriously fast times among the Dutch North Sea dunes.
Practice suggested those predictions might well be spot on, with championship leader Maximilian Günther leading the way on a 1m28.252s best – three tenths quicker than the fastest qualifying lap recorded last year.
Joel wound up 0.424s down on Günther in seventh place, but was just two tenths adrift of second-placed Lando Norris on a tightly-packed results sheet.
Team Motopark are currently hard at work optimising the set-up of the car for this evening’s qualifying session, which will shape the grid for tomorrow’s opening race of the weekend.
Next session: Qualifying 1, 17.50 local time (GMT+02:00).
“A so-so session. I had quite a lot of understeer, which made it difficult to attack the fast corners, so we have a few things to work on. Still, we were there or thereabouts in terms of lap time, so with a couple of small adjustments we can hopefully join the fight for pole in qualifying.”
RESULTS – Free Practice