Carlin claimed the honour of setting the fastest time of the first day of GP3 on-track action in 2015, with Antonio Fuoco pipping ART's Marvin Kirchh?fer to the top spot by one thousandths of a second at Estoril.

See full times from day 1 of GP3 testing at Estoril

The Ferrari Academy Driver set his best laptime of 1:28.410s at the 2.6-mile, 13-turn Portuguese circuit late in the afternoon session to put him at the top of the day's timesheets ahead of Kirchh?fer. The pair were closely pursued on the timing screens by Emil Bernstorff (Arden), Luca Ghiotto (Trident), Jann Mardenborough (Carlin), Esteban Ocon (Art), Ralph Boschung (Jenzer Motorsport) and Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP).

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The top ten times on Wednesday were all set after the lunch break, after a slow start to the test as drivers waited for the track to dry out following heavy overnight rain. It took two hours before Status Grand Prix's Sandy Stuvik became the first driver to venture out on medium compound slick tyres to set a time, despite looming dark clouds still threatening the circuit.

Trident's Oscar Tunjo ended up with the best pre-lunch time with a lap of 1:29.061s putting him ahead of Status Grand Prix's Alex Fontana. Also looking fast in the drying morning conditions were Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Eriksson and Ocon. Tunjo went on to marginally improve his time by 0.067s in the afternoon but that was only good enough to put him into ninth place for the day.

Inevitably the tricky conditions coupled with drivers still getting used to their new GP3 hardware resulted in a number of brief stoppages, with Seb Morris going for a harmless spin at turn 4, and a red flag in the final moments when Zaid Ashkanani spun his Campos Racing car into the gravel at turn 13.

Kirchh?fer was the cause of the first red flag after lunch when the German stopped at Turn 5, and there was a further brief pause in proceedings when Artur Janosz spun his Trident machine. Jenzer's Matheo Tuscher stopped on track at turn 4 to trigger the fifth and final red flag of the day, which left a five minute shoot-out for the drivers to do their best to improve.

All 23 currently confirmed drivers for the 2015 GP3 Series took part in the day's activity, with only one seat on this year's now yet to be filled at Campos Racing. GP3 CEO Bruno Michel confirmed on Wednesday that there would be no replacement for the Marussia Manor team that was closed down at the end of 2014.

There will be a further day of testing for the GP3 drivers on Thursday, The second and final day of the Estoril pre-season test will commence at 9am local time and finish at midday, followed by a one hour lunch break. The drivers will then have a further three-hour session in the afternoon from 1pm to 4pm.

The teams and drivers have three more two-day pre-season test sessions scheduled in Spain next month, at Valencia on April 9-10 and the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on April 22-23. The first race of the 2015 season will be held in Barcelona on May 8-10 in support of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix the same weekend.

See full times from day 1 of GP3 testing at Estoril