Matthieu Vaxiviere topped the overall free practice time sheets at the ninth and final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in Jerez, Spain.

The Frenchman was fastest in the morning in the foggy conditions and maintained the lead in the afternoon. In a rare occurrence, the hot track temperature ensured that the morning session times were faster than second practice, keeping the Lotus on the top spot.

Speaking to after his pace-setting morning, the series rookie admitted his delight at lapping fastest but remains cautious about his chances of securing a maiden pole position when race one qualifying begins on Saturday.

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"This morning was good for me," he said. "When the conditions are hot, it works well for us so hopefully tomorrow will be even better and we won't have any problems with our car."

The teenager suffered a brake issue in second practice; a factor he fears may hinder his qualifying pace this weekend. The raw pace is there, he explains, but the car must stay reliable if he is to add a third podium trophy to his collection.

"It's always good to be fastest overall but we need to sort this issue," he explained. "Pole would be good so the mechanics are working hard."

The teenager, who broke his back earlier this year, continued what has been an impressive run of form for Lotus. The Czech outfit has been fastest over one-flying lap for two consecutive Friday practices with Marlon Stockinger topping the timings at the last round at Paul Ricard.