GP3 Series qualifying ended with Charles Leclerc on pole after an intriguing session at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday morning.
The ART Grand Prix driver was three tenths quicker than his nearest rival, mastering the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Meanwhile, his main rival for the Championship, team-mate Alexander Albon, starts from seventeenth.
Despite the cooler conditions from yesterday, track temperature were up to 27 degrees. This meant that it didn’t take long for the drivers to get up to speed and warm the tyres.
Nyck de Vries was the first to set a benchmark and with a time of 2:06.370, with only one second separating first to seventeenth. The fastest driver from Friday practice, Jake Hughes was initially second, two tenths behind.
Going into the second half of the session, Leclerc proved to be the man on the move and dominated his lap to take pole despite Hughes also improving. The warmer climate meant that the tyres were easily going off as drivers had to maximise their first lap.
Sadly though, this caught out a number of the competitors as they finished way down the order. DeVries time from the first half proved to be enough to hold on to third despite not improving in the second half.
This left championship leader, Leclerc to take pole from Hughes and De Vries. The Monegasque driver adds another four points to his lead and will hope to dominate as his closest rival, Alexander Albon could only manage seventeenth. Albon had run wide on his first lap on his second run, and this proved to be costly for the Thai driver.
The third title contender of Antonio Fuoco again put in a solid performance and will line up fourth ensuring he could still be a real threat for the win. Behind him, a late lap from Kevin Jörg proved to be enough to launch him to fifth.
In sixth was Matt Parry, who will hope to continue his run of strong points scoring. While rounding out the top eight will be Arjun Maini and Sandy Stuvik who both know the importance of reverse grid pole.
GP3 – Spa-Francorchamps Qualifying Results
|1||1||Charles Leclerc||Mon||ART Grand Prix||2m04.896|
|3||4||Nyck De Vries||NED||ART Grand Prix||2m05.393|
|6||14||Matt Parry||GBR||Koiranen GP||2m05.653|
|7||20||Arjun Maini||IND||Jenzer Motorsport||2m05.661|
|10||22||Alex Palou||ESP||Campos Racing||2m05.880|
|11||2||Nirei Fukuzumi||JPN||ART Grand Prix||2m06.012|
|12||16||Matevos Isaakyan||RUS||Koiranen GP||2m06.145|
|13||9||Jake Dennis||GBR||Arden International||2m06.179|
|14||11||Jake Aitken||GBR||Arden International||2m06.185|
|15||23||Steijn Schothorst||NED||Campos Racing||2m06.201|
|16||19||Oscar Tunjo||COL||Jenzer Motorsport||2m06.282|
|17||3||Alexander Albon||THA||ART Grand Prix||2m06.421|
|20||24||Konstantin Tereschenko||RUS||Campos Racing||2m06.769|
|21||17||Niko Kari||FIN||Koiranen GP||2m06.772|
|22||10||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Arden International||2m06.900|
|23||18||Akash Nandy||MAS||Jenzer Motorsport||2m07.086|