Italian karting star Alessio Lorandi could be about to follow in the footsteps of Max Verstappen in the Formula 3 European Championship next season. The 16-year-old set the fastest time with Van Amersfoort Racing in three of the four sessions on the opening day of this week’s F3 test at Valencia, which is not an official test.
Lorandi had his first F3 run with VAR several weeks ago at Lausitz, before accumulating mileage in several Formula Renault 2.0 tests (pictured above). Since then he has been back out with VAR at Silverstone and Barcelona.
“We don’t have an agreement yet, but I’m very happy with what he did today,” Team boss Frits van Amersfoort said.
Conditions were wet all day at Valencia, with a dry line beginning to appear in the final session – leading to a very brief period when the best times were set – before further rain.
McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner George Russell set the quickest time in the first session – the only one not topped by Lorandi – while fellow Briton Sam MacLeod was quick most of the day in the other VAR car but did not set a representative time in the final session.
Lorandi will stand down for Tuesday’s running, with ADAC Formel Masters champion Mikkel Jensen joining MacLeod in the VAR roster. Meanwhile, GP3 ace Marvin Kirchhofer joined the Mucke Motorsport lineup along with ADAC Formel Masters runner-up Maximilian Gunther.
Formula Masters China champion James Munro had an outing in Motopark’s German F3-spec car, the New Zealander running alongside the squad’s FIA cars.
Other newcomers to the F3 winter test lineups included Indonesian Anderson Martono (the Formula Masters China racer with Carlin), Indian Mahaveer Raghunathan (the Italian F4 contender with Motopark) and Malaysian Akash Nandy (the Formula Renault ALPS racer in Performance’s German F3 car).
Top times from Valencia testing:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time 1. Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-VW 1m33.956s 2. Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara-VW 1m34.797s 3. Gustavo Menezes Carlin Dallara-VW 1m35.290s 4. Marvin Kirchhofer Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes 1m35.385s 5. Maximilian Gunther Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes 1m35.418s 6. Tatiana Calderon Carlin Dallara-VW 1m35.601s 7. Arjun Maini Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes 1m36.015s 8. Santino Ferrucci Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes 1m36.057s 9. Matt Solomon Double R Racing Dallara-Mercedes 1m36.274s 10. George Russell Carlin Dallara-VW 1m36.299s