• Saturday , 23 September 2017

Felix wins epic qualifying scrap to bag last-gasp pole

Q1Felix came out on top of a thrilling three-way scrap with points’ leader Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen to bag pole position for the opening FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Norisring, heading an ultra-close qualifying session on the streets of Nuremberg on Friday evening.

As expected, the battle for pole boiled down to the dying seconds of qualifying as grip levels evolved throughout and drivers duly improved their benchmarks at a ferocious rate.

With 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Felix sat third behind Ocon and Verstappen, but then managed to pull “a near-perfect” lap out of the bag to snatch pole from Frenchman Ocon by an ungraspable three thousandths of a second on his very final attempt. In doing so, he ironically increased the pole position advantage he enjoyed at Norisring last year, when he out-paced then-title rival Raffaele Marciello by 0.001s.

Verstappen was a further 0.008s adrift in third, with the leading trio then enjoying a two-tenth gap to fourth-placed Tom Blomqvist.

25 out of the 26 drivers were covered by less than one second. The outcome marks Felix’s maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole of the season, although he has previously headed qualifying sessions in the FA1 series this year.

FELIX:

“That was close! Last year, I was on pole here by one thousandth of a second - this year, it’s by three; I certainly seem to have the margins on my side here in Nuremberg! At the beginning of the session, I tried to grab a tow from Max (Verstappen) down the straights, but it didn’t work out too well and I decided to abandon that plan and go on my own for the final stages. It was a very good lap, and it was just enough for pole. The middle sector in particular – the Schöller S – was as close to perfect as I’ll get.

“This was exactly the kind of result we needed following the problems we’ve had recently, and this is a major boost for the entire team. Now, we need to make sure we make the most of this in the race tomorrow. I expect Esteban and Max to be very strong, but I know one thing for certain; no one in this field wants to win as badly as I do right now…”

RESULTS

Grid for Race 1

Pos. No Driver Laps Time Gap
1 27 Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 22 48.082  
2 2 Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam 21 48.085 00.003
3 30 Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing 21 48.093 00.008
4 31 Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 20 48.262 00.169
5 3 Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 21 48.321 00.059
6 4 Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 21 48.432 00.111
7 28 Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin 21 48.437 00.005
8 16 Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing 20 48.439 00.002
9 9 Mitchell Gilbert / AUS Fortec Motorsports 21 48.466 00.027
10 5 Jordan King / GBR Carlin 21 48.470 00.004
11 1 Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam 22 48.489 00.019
12 15 Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing 21 48.495 00.006
13 19 Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 12 48.509 00.014
14 25 Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam 21 48.576 00.067
15 11 Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport 24 48.646 00.070
16 21 Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3 21 48.650 00.004
17 18 Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing 21 48.704 00.054
18 20 Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 20 48.797 00.093
19 26 Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam 21 48.835 00.038
20 29 Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational 21 48.838 00.003
21 8 Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational 21 48.858 00.020
22 14 Felipe Guimaraes / BRA Double R Racing 21 48.903 00.045
23 17 Sandro Zeller / SUI Jo Zeller Racing 19 48.955 00.052
24 12 Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport 24 48.979 00.024
25 10 John Bryant-Meisner / SWE Fortec Motorsports 21 49.051 00.072
26 22 Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3 21 49.342 00.291

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