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Max happy after valuable final F3 test day

Published on 19 December 2013 by Niels Hendrix

After a successful debut in Formula 3, clocking times faster than the official F3 track record at the Valencia circuit, Max Verstappen geared up on Thursday for the second and final day of his first F3 test session. Of the drivers in a ATS Formel 3 Cup spec car, the Dutchman was second fastest in the rain and third quickest on a dry track. Max took to the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in an F3 provided by the German Team Motopark.

Verstappen junior's debut on Wednesday took place in splendid sunshine. However, on Thursday the drivers were greeted by a wet circuit which meant Max had to prepare for his first F3 run in the wet. Unfortunately, it meant the sixteen-year-old would be at a slight disadvantage as the Yokohama tyres used by Team Motopark are slightly slower in the rain than the rubber of the competition. In contrast, the dry compound provided by the Japanese manufacturer performs slightly better in comparison to the other brands used.

Max faced difficult track conditions in the first session of day two

Nevertheless, Max was keen to go out on track. In tricky conditions, in his first wet F3 outing, the talented youngster set a 1:41.6, resulting in the sixteenth position at the end of the first one hour session. The second session saw times drop significantly as the track dried. This meant the fastest dry laps were almost ten seconds quicker than the wet lap times. Meanwhile, Max drove back where he belonged as he set the second fastest lap, a tenth shy of Santino Ferrucci. The Italian drove a similar spec F3 car to Max, as both single seaters are used in the German F3 championship.

Despite the changing conditions in the first two sessions, Max remained upbeat: "The first hour in the rain was a bit tricky as you have completely different racing lines on a wet track. But during the second session, on a dry track, I was among the fastest again. Regardless, I have to say, F3 cars are just really good fun to drive."

Time for slicks in the second session

Session three saw the drivers go out on slicks, with lap times getting faster and faster. Unfortunately, the session was red flagged after forty minutes, as the rain came pouring down again. By that time, Max clocked a 1:25.925 which put him in the top three behind Ferrucci and Sebastian Balthasar.
"It was a bit of shame the session was cut short as I was on my way to put on fresh rubber. The track was still damp at the beginning of the session, so we opted for a used set of tyres so we could use the fresh rubber whenever the track would be at its best. Unfortunately, we never got that chance."

The fourth and final session was all about gaining valuable track time and experience as the circuit was once again wet. Max got plenty of action as he managed 23 laps under conditions that made it impossible to set a top time. Despite Max finishing the last session in seventeenth, the track time proved a valuable experience for the youngster as he prepares for his first full season in motorsport.

Max' last laps in 2013 were driven in the rain

The second and final day of the test session with Team Motopark, marked the end of Max' more than successful 2013. After several Formula Renault 2.0 tests, in which Max was consistently among the fastest, the world and double European karting champion will, together with his management and father Jos, decide on 2014. Max: "So far we have not made any decisions yet, but I'm hopeful we can announce the plans soon."

Similar to the first, the second day of the Valencia F3 test saw several different specs of F3 cars take to the track. FIA F3 Championship, European F3 Open series and ATS Formel 3 Cup spec vehicles were seen in action. The three categories each use a different tyre manufacturer (Yokohama, Hankook and Dunlop). The general perception is that the Yokohama compound gives an advantage on a dry track, whereas the wet wetter tyre provided by Hankook, performs slightly better in the rain.

Apart from the tyres, the various F3 specs differ in weight as they are separated by roughly 15kg (between 550 and 565kg). This means lap times are fairly difficult to compare. Therefore, we split the lap times per team, spec and tyre supplier. Both the fastest dry and wet lap are displayed.

Lap times Formula 3 test Valencia, December 19:

Motopark                ATS Formel 3 Cup 2013, Yokohama
Max Verstappen          1:25.925 / 1:40.493
Gustavo Lima            1:26.958 / 1:41.535

EuroInternational       ATS Formel 3 Cup 2013, Yokohama
Santino Ferrucci        1:25.507 / 1:43.757
Riccardo Agostini       1:26.830 / 1:39.357

Performance Racing      ATS Formel 3 Cup 2013, Yokohama
Sebastian Balthasar     1:25.918 / 1:41.755
Tomasz Krzeminski       1:32.027 / 1:42.734

ADM Motorsport          ATS Formel 3 Cup 2013, Yokohama
Nikita Zlobin           1:27.250 / 1:44.554
Maxim Kim               1:29.033 / 1:44.729

Müke Motorsport         F3 European Championship 2014, Hankook
Lucas Auer              1:26.387 / 1:38.851

Müke Motorsport         F3 European Championship 2013, Hankook
Roy Nissany             1:27.525 / 1:40.075

Carlin                  F3 European Championship 2014, Hankook
Sean Gelael             1:26.822 / 1:39.994

Carlin                  F3 European Championship 2013, Hankook
Ed Jones                1:26.787 / 1:39.747
Tatiana Calderon        1:26.994 / 1:39.534

Prema Powerteam         F3 European Championship 2013, Hankook
Esteban Ocon            1:27.014 / 1:39.189
Antonio Fuoco           1:27.562 / 1:40.346
Nicholas Latifi         1:27.680 / 1:38.831
Dennis van der Laar     1:38.725 / 1:39.954

Van Amersfoort Racing   F3 European Championship 2013, Hankook
Michele Beretta         1:27.607 / 1:39.683
Jules Szymkowiak        1:27.794 / 1:41.324

EmiliodeVillota         European F3 Open 2013, Dunlop
Yu Kanamaru             1:29.341 / 1:39.927
Konstantin Tereshchenko 1:30.305 / 1:41.284

Team West-Tec F3        European F3 Open 2013, Dunlop
Gerardo Nieto           1:29.913 / 1:39.850
Tanart Sathienthirakul  1:30.282 / 1:40.705
Dzhon Simonyan          1:30.561 / 1:40.656
Nicolas Pohler          1:31.627 / 1:41.482
Che Won Lim             1:35.894 / 1:39.995

Campos Racing           European F3 Open 2013, Dunlop
Alex Palou              1:30.470 / 1:39.832
Diego Borrelli          1:34.086 / 1:44.270
Sean Walkinshaw         1:35.515 / 1:41.445

DAV Racing              European F3 Open 2013, Dunlop
Falco Waver             1:31.234 / 1:40.599
Kevin Giovesi           1:34.432 / 1:39.548

Johan Peeters / Stefan Meens