The 2021 French Formula 4 season officially got underway at Nogaro with a single Saturday morning practice session topped by Australian Hugh Barter.
Richard Mille Young Talent Academy shootout winner Barter set the pace pretty much throughout, initially lapping in the 1m29s before steadily improving through the first 15 minutes of the half-hour of track time.
The order was mostly set by the mid-point of the session, with Barter having set a 1m27.958s lap that put him just 0.008 seconds ahead of 2020 guest driver Esteban Masson.
Third fastest was series returnee Owen Tangavelou, just ahead of Dario Cabanelas and pre-event test pacesetter Maceo Capietto.
Aiden Neate, Gael Julien and Daniel Ligier also all got within a second of the pace, and 3.815s covered the entirety of the 16-car field.
Pierre-Alexandre Provost was in second place early on, but the gains he made were smaller than those around him and he hadn’t broken into the 1m28s by the time the session ended and he was down to 10th place.
Qualifying takes place on Saturday afternoon, with the first two French F4 races of the year running on Sunday and then the third race of the extended Easter weekend taking place on Monday.
Free practice results
Pos Driver Time Laps
1 Hugh Barter1m27.958s20
2 Esteban Masson+0.008s18
3 Owen Tangavelou+0.401s19
4 Dario Cabanelas+0.429s19
5 Maceo Capietto+0.439s19
6 Aiden Neate+0.730s19
7 Gael Julien+0.827s18
8 Daniel Ligier+0.831s18
9 Noah Andy+1.033s19
10 Pierre-Alexandre Provost+1.063s14
11 Alessandro Giusti+1.477s18
12 Sutumno Thanapongpan+1.718s18
13 Enzo Geraci+1.785s19
14 Adam Szydlowski+3.170s19
15 Angelina Favario+3.476s19
16 Vignesh Kadarabad+3.815s18