Jake Hughes took a maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship pole position in an incredibly close qualifying session at the Norisring, with all eighteen drivers within seven-tenths of a second.
The Hitech Grand Prix ace, making his first appearance around the shortest track on the calendar, set a best time of 48.231s to take top spot, just 0.002 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Lando Norris.
Practice pacesetter Pedro Piquet had by far his best qualifying performance to date with a strong third for Van Amersfoort Racing, finishing just 0.015 seconds down on Hughes, while Maximilian Günther was the leading Prema Powerteam entrant in fourth, jut ahead of team-mate Callum Ilott.
Ferdinand Habsburg, who has struggled at times during qualifying in 2017, was sixth for Carlin ahead of Guan Yu Zhou of Prema Powerteam and Joey Mawson of Van Amersfoort Racing, while Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Harrison Newey completed the top ten, a top ten that was separated by just 0.180 seconds.
Whereas three of the four championship contenders – Norris, Günther and Ilott – qualified inside the top five, championship leader Joel Eriksson found the going tough, and despite being just 0.640 seconds down on the pole time, the Motopark driver found himself seventeenth out of eighteen, ahead only of Tadasuke Makino.
It was an overall disappointing day for Motopark, with Marino Sato, David Beckmann and Keyvan Andres Soori fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth respectively, just ahead of Eriksson.
Norisring Race 1 Qualifying Result
|1||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||48.231|
|3||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||48.246|
|4||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||48.334|
|5||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||48.352|
|7||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||48.379|
|8||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||48.405|
|10||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||48.411|
|11||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||48.452|
|12||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||48.457|
|13||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||48.516|
|16||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||48.721|
|18||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||48.930|