Barnicoat struggles in EF3 qualifying two

Having made an impressive statement on his qualifying debut in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship earlier in the day, Ben Barnicoat had a tougher challenge in the second qualifying session at Paul Ricard.

The Hitech GP racer, who earlier qualified in fifth position for the opening race of the season, struggled to make such a mark.

Racking up 11 laps on the track which had now fully dried after the morning’s rainfall, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver admitted to not making the best use out of the slick tyres at his disposal. It resulted in a seventh place start for the second race of the weekend.

That was after team-mate George Russell was excluded from his provisional starting position of second, having failed to provide an adequate amount of fuel sample. Russell was allowed to start from the back of the grid.

Based on second best times from the second qualifying session, Barnicoat will line up in sixth place for the final race of the opening weekend, again after Russell's post-qualifiying exclusion.

“The track conditions were very different than yesterday and this morning,” Barnicoat said. “I didn’t get the most out of my tyres, I took too much life out of them while warming them up. But this is certainly a learning curve which will help me as I progress through the rest of the season.”