16-year-old Mitch Evans took pole position on only his second European race weekend in GP3 qualifying at Barcelona, beating Andrea Caldarelli by just one thousandth of a second.

Tech 1 driver Caldarelli led the session early on with a time that his rivals struggled to match. Practice pacesetter Valtteri Bottas briefly took top spot for ART before Marlon Stockinger went quickest for Atech CRS. Caldarelli's name quickly returned to the top of the timing screens though.

The Italian remained there until the closing stages when New Zealander Evans put together a lap good enough to take pole position for his MW Arden team, just 0.001 seconds quicker than Caldarelli.

“I think the race is going to be really close so we will give it our best shot and see what the outcome is,” said Evans in the post-qualifying press conference.

“On the first set of tyres, the car actually felt not too bad and I ended up in a pretty good position and I was feeling pretty good about it. We then made a slight adjustment between sets and improved a little bit a put a pretty good lap together.

“It's massive for team, because it's their first pole position in GP3 which is really special for everyone so I'm really pleased to be the one to do it.

“We have to get a clean start, my start in Turkey wasn't too bad, but there was still an improvement to be made so we will work on that and try and improve the car a little bit of course. We will do our best.”

Caldarelli was pleased with second despite being knocked off pole by such a small margin.

“Even if it was a really small gap I think we still had a lot more potential,” said Caldarelli. “Unfortunately I lost time in the final sector when I locked the wheel, so I think we should've been much better. But anyway we did a good job with the team, and we were really motivated.”

Caldarelli's second place matched his qualifying result from Istanbul. “I think it was a bit difficult in the pre-season tests because it was a new car, but step-by-step thanks to the team we really found a good feeling with the car, and developed a lot so this has now paid us back.”

Stockinger held onto third place, the Filipino scoring both his and his team's best qualifying result in GP3.

“The team is really ecstatic with the result,” he said afterwards. “We knew we could always do it, but it was just a case of putting a lap together.”

Aaro Vainio (Tech 1) and James Calado (ART) made it five GP3 rookies in the top five places by ending fourth and fifth respectively. Points leader Nigel Melker was sixth for Mucke, just ahead of Jenzer's Nico Muller. Tamas Pal Kiss, Dean Smith and Bottas rounded out the top ten.

Qualifying session results:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
1 Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:38.498  
2 Andrea Caldarelli Tech 1 Racing 1:38.499 0.001
3 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS Grand Prix 1:38.739 0.241
4 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 1:38.778 0.280
5 James Calado Lotus ART 1:38.825 0.327
6 Nigel Melker RSC Mücke Motorsport 1:38.826 0.328
7 Nico Müller Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.914 0.416
8 Tamás Pál Kiss Tech 1 Racing 1:38.991 0.493
9 Dean Smith Addax Team 1:39.052 0.554
10 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 1:39.074 0.576
11 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS Grand Prix 1:39.091 0.593
12 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Marussia Manor Racing 1:39.106 0.608
13 Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.132 0.634
14 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.132 0.634
15 Dominic Storey Addax Team 1:39.165 0.667
16 Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 1:39.183 0.685
17 Antonio Felix da Costa Status Grand Prix 1:39.225 0.727
18 Pedro Nunes Lotus ART 1:39.229 0.731
19 Gabby Chaves Addax Team 1:39.231 0.733
20 Lewis Williamson MW Arden 1:39.251 0.743
21 Matias Laine Marussia Manor Racing 1:39.273 0.775
22 Ivan Lukashevich Status Grand Prix 1:39.277 0.779
23 Rio Haryanto Marussia Manor Racing 1:39.334 0.836
24 Zoël Amberg Atech CRS Grand Prix 1:39.382 0.884
25 Conor Daly Carlin 1:39.516 1.018
26 Daniel Morad Carlin 1:39.601 1.103
27 Leonardo Cordeiro Carlin 1:39.610 1.112
28 Simon Trummer MW Arden 1:39.713 1.215
29 Luciano Bacheta RSC Mücke Motorsport 1:40.301 1.803
30 Michael Christensen RSC Mücke Motorsport 1:49.478 10.980