France F3: Mercedes junior Vesti beats Hauger to pole
ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti took pole in FIA Formula 3 qualifying at Paul Ricard, beating Prema Racing’s Dennis Hauger to the top spot.
The Mercedes junior went quickest with a 1m50.882s with less than five minutes left of the 30-minute qualifying session, almost two-tenths clear of Hauger, who made a minor error on his last lap while attempting to take back pole.
MP Motorsport’s Victor Martins came in third, with Trident’s Jack Doohan ending up fourth ahead of MP Motorsport driver Caio Collet and teammate Clement Novalak.
Doohan was out on track first, leading the 30-strong pack around a very bunched up first lap.
ART Grand Prix’s Juan Manuel Correa managed to find space to take the first flying lap, but went wide and had to take the run off on the way down to Turn 3, forcing him round the bollards to return to the track the long way round. This caused a yellow flag as a large portion of the field were about to start their first fast laps.
His teammate Alexander Smolyar was the first to set a fast lap, with a 1m52.393s, before Vesti set a 1m52.395s.
But they were the only two drivers to set fast laps before there was a red flag eight minutes into the session after Prema Racing’s Arthur Leclerc came to a halt on the circuit with a locked front-left wheel.
The disappointed Ferrari Academy driver was unable to get the car going again and was pushed off the track by the marshalls, ending his qualifying before he was able to set a time.
The lights went green with 22 minutes to go, with the times then tumbling, with Hauger, Collet, Martins and Doohan all quickly breaking into the 1m51s.
By halfway through the session, the top 15 was separated by just one second.
This session sets the grid for Sunday’s feature race, while for Saturday’s sprint race, the top 12 will be reversed.
This will see Jenzer Motorsport’s Calan Williams start on pole tomorrow, with Trident’s David Schumacher in second and Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant in third.
Correa, who was confirmed today to be rejoining the Sauber Academy, will start fourth, with Hitech Grand Prix’s Ayuma Iwasa in fifth.
Paul Ricard qualifying results:
|1||7||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||1'50.882|
|2||1||Dennis Hauger||Prema Powerteam||1'51.063||0.181|
|3||17||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||1'51.122||0.240|
|5||18||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||1'51.187||0.305|
|7||8||Alexander Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||1'51.269||0.387|
|9||9||Juan Manuel Correa||ART Grand Prix||1'51.503||0.621|
|10||29||Logan Sargeant||Charouz Racing System||1'51.525||0.643|
|12||26||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||1'51.575||0.693|
|13||14||Matteo Nannini||HWA AG||1'51.613||0.731|
|14||3||Olli Caldwell||Prema Powerteam||1'51.648||0.766|
|15||19||Tijmen van||MP Motorsport||1'51.669||0.787|
|18||21||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos Racing||1'51.809||0.927|
|19||22||Amaury Cordeel||Campos Racing||1'51.929||1.047|
|20||27||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer Motorsport||1'52.051||1.169|
|21||30||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz Racing System||1'52.334||1.452|
|24||15||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA AG||1'52.475||1.593|
|25||20||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Campos Racing||1'52.564||1.682|
|26||31||Reshad de||Charouz Racing System||1'52.795||1.913|
|27||28||Filip Ugran||Jenzer Motorsport||1'52.823||1.941|
|28||16||Rafael Villagómez||HWA AG||1'52.946||2.064|
|View full results|
France F3: Hauger tops practice times with last-gasp effort
France F3: Smolyar takes dramatic last-lap win from Martins