Silverstone GP3: Albon tops qualifying in mixed conditions

ART driver Alex Albon was quickest in a rainy GP3 qualifying session at Silverstone, securing his first pole in his third round in the series.

Silverstone GP3: Albon tops qualifying in mixed conditions

With rain hitting the track during the first flyers, Campos duo Alex Palou and Konstantin Tereshchenko were the early leaders.

Although the Spaniard's time was disallowed due to track limits, Tereshchenko remained the leader when Kevin Jorg crashed and the session was red-flagged.

Once back to green, the field rejoined with most drivers already driving on slicks due to the rain having effectively stopped.

ART trio Leclerc, Alex Albon and Nyck De Vries comfortably locked out the top three with their first efforts, lowering Tereshchenko's benchmark by nine seconds.

Despite a lot of improvements, Leclerc was back in the lead with his next time, leading Palou by just one tenth.

The Monegasque pitted next time around and was immediately edged out by Arden duo Jake Dennis and Jack Aitken.

Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco and then Jake Hughes both went fastest while most of the field was in the pits but Parry comfortably took the lead once back on track only to have his time deleted.

GP3 debutant Arjun Maini was next on top but Albon soon took over with Leclerc going second despite being blocked by Santino Ferrucci.

The championship leader tried to go past the American at a left-hander but the latter was unaware of him and the duo made small contact, which resulted in front wing damage for Leclerc and puncture for Ferrucci.

Ferrucci temporarily stopped on track soon afterwards, which prompted the red flag with just three minutes to go and, with rain starting to fall at the restart, there were no further improvements.

Albon's time of 1m47.348s ended up as the benchmark time of the session as a result with Leclerc taking second.

However, he will start the feature race from seventh thanks to a five-place grid penalty carried over from Spielberg.

Sandy Stuvik will form a Thai 1-2 with Maini making an impressive GP3 debut by securing third.

Matevos Isaakyan, Hughes and Fuoco will all gain a spot thanks to the Leclerc penalty to start fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Maini's sole teammate at Jenzer Akash Nandy took eighth but another grid penalty will force him out of the top 10 on the grid.

Nirei Fukuzumi, Ralph Boschung and Giuliano Alesi will round out the top 10 of the grid.

Qualifying results

Cla#DriverTeamLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 3  Alexander Albon   ART Grand Prix 9 1'47.348     197.559
2 8  Sandy Stuvik   Trident 10 1'48.290 0.942 0.192 195.840
3 20  Arjun Maini   Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'48.393 1.045 0.103 195.654
4 16  Matevos Isaakyan   Koiranen GP 13 1'48.539 1.191 0.146 195.391
5 27  Jake Hughes   DAMS 13 1'48.567 1.219 0.028 195.341
6 5  Antonio Fuoco   Trident 12 1'48.568 1.220 0.001 195.339
7 1  Charles Leclerc*  ART Grand Prix 9 1'48.098 0.750 0.750 196.188
8 2  Nirei Fukuzumi   ART Grand Prix 11 1'48.664 1.316 0.006 195.166
9 17  Ralph Boschung   Koiranen GP 12 1'48.674 1.326 0.010 195.148
10 7  Giuliano Alesi   Trident 12 1'48.749 1.401 0.075 195.014
11 14  Matt Parry   Koiranen GP 14 1'48.758 1.410 0.009 194.998
12 9  Jake Dennis   Arden International 11 1'48.831 1.483 0.073 194.867
13 18  Akash Nandy*  Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'48.658 1.310 0.090 195.177
14 11  Jack Aitken   Arden International 11 1'48.855 1.507 0.024 194.824
15 22  Alex Palou   Campos Racing 11 1'49.053 1.705 0.198 194.470
16 24  Konstantin Tereshchenko   Campos Racing 12 1'49.138 1.790 0.085 194.319
17 23  Steijn Schothorst   Campos Racing 12 1'49.358 2.010 0.089 193.928
18 10  Tatiana Calderon   Arden International 11 1'49.733 2.385 0.375 193.265
19 4  Nyck de Vries   ART Grand Prix 11 1'49.934 2.586 0.201 192.912
20 6  Artur Janosz   Trident 12 1'50.005 2.657 0.071 192.787
21 28  Kevin Joerg   DAMS 1        
2 26  Santino Ferrucci**  DAMS 12 1'49.269 1.921 0.131 194.086
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