Traffic hampers Barnicoat in Budapest

Ben Barnicoat qualified 12th, eighth and sixth for this weekend's three European Formula 3 Championship races at the Hungaroring.

The RSF-backed driver was held up in traffic in the first and second topsy-turvy sessions on the newly re-surfaced circuit which made track limits penalties a perpetual hazard.

Barnicoat's best time in the opening session was one of more than 40 that were docked by stewards as a raft of drivers strayed beyond the freshly marked out limits.

The deleted lap - which would have placed him sixth - left him relying on his second, slower lap which qualified him 13th. That subsequently became 12th after Hitech GP team-mate Nikita Mazepin was handed a ban for the first encounter following an altercation in the pitlane with Van Amersfoort's Callum Ilott.

Little changed in the second of the day's sessions with traffic hampering Barnicoat's best efforts for a second time. On fastest times he was only able to muster eighth on the time sheet some 1.5 seconds adrift of Prema's triple pole-winner Maximilian Gunther.

But on second fastest times he clocked the sixth best lap just over 1.2 seconds behind the Prema poleman.

"Obviously I'm still on a steep learning curve but I'm sure I could have done better today but for the traffic and tactics of some of the other drivers out there," said the Hitech GP driver.

"Still, everything's there now in terms of the elements I need to produce quick laptimes. I've just got to piece them all together now to make sure I leave here on Sunday night with some decent points-paying places under my belt."

Gunther shares the front row with Barnicoat's team-mate George Russell, Prema team-mate and F3 rookie Ralf Aron and Motopark's Sergio Sette Camara respectively in each of the three races.