Antonio Giovinazzi was quickest on the first day of pre-season testing in the European Formula 3 championship in Valencia, narrowly ahead of rookie George Russell on the timesheets.

34 drivers are taking part in the opening test at the Circuit Ricardo Toromo as Jagonya Ayam with Carlin's Giuvinazzi topped both sessions on the first day, finishing with a fastest time of 1m 24.755s.

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The fastest rookie of the day was George Russell, posting a 1m 25.005s time in his Carlin, closely followed fellow newcomers Charles Leclerc, Maximilian Gunther and Alexander Albon, who completed the top five.

Leader Giovinazzi kept day one of testing in perspective and feels there is a long way to go for all the teams and drivers, who he expects will narrow the gap on him.

"You shouldn't overestimate this result," he said. "The first day of testing is mainly used to increase your self-confidence and to familiarise yourself with the car. It's the season kick-off at Silverstone where it counts. Nonetheless, I'm happy to have achieved this fine result."

The second day of the test continues on Wednesday (18th March).