Ocon and Verstappen serve up Epic Pau Qualifying Show

Frenchman Esteban Ocon continued his impressive start to his European Formula 3 Series career by taking pole position for race 1 at the Pau street circuit in France. The Prema Powerteam driver came through a tough test that saw him trading the quickest time with Van Amersfoort Racing driver Max Verstappen before ultimately taking the spoils. Verstappen will start third due to the Pau qualifying session being divided into two sections, with Lucas Auer, who was fastest in the first of the two sessions, starting from second position on the grid for Mücke Motorsport.

In the first session, it was Auer who set the pace, setting a lap time of 1:10.429s to finish ahead of Prema Powerteam’s Nicholas Latifi and Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Tom Blomqvist. Felix Serralles of Team West-Tec F3 caused a red flag with ninety seconds remaining on the clock by crashing into a tyre wall.

In the second session, Ocon set a best lap time of 1:10.082s to pip Verstappen by the smallest of margins, 0.024s to be precise. Jake Dennis was third fastest in the session for Carlin, ahead of Dennis van de Laar (Prema) and Ed Jones (Carlin). Jones was one of the two drivers to crash and cause the red flags to fly in the second session, the other being Roy Nissany of Mücke Motorsport, who had his second crash of the weekend.

As Ocon was fastest than Auer, all the drivers from the second group will start from odd numbered positions, with the first group all taken even starting spots.

Pau Race 1 Qualifying Times (Group A)

1 Lucas Auer AUT Mücke Motorsport 1:10.429
2 Nicholas Latifi CAN Prema Powerteam 1:10.559
3 Tom Blomqvist GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:10.634
4 Jordan King GBR Carlin 1:10.714
5 Felix Serralles PUE Team West-Tec F3 1:10.769
6 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:10.840
7 Richard Goddard AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:10.930
8 Riccardo Agostini ITA EuroInternational 1:10.960
9 Mitchell Gilbert AUS Fortec Motorsport 1:11.035
10 Antonio Fuoco ITA Prema Powerteam 1:11.097
11 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mücke Motorsport 1:11.137
12 Jules Szymkowiak NED Van Amersfoort Racing 1:11.571

Pau Race 1 Qualifying Times (Group B)

1 Esteban Ocon FRA Prema Powerteam 1:10.072
2 Max Verstappen NED Van Amersfoort Racing 1:10.096
3 Jake Dennis GBR Carlin 1:10.570
4 Dennis van de Laar NED Prema Powerteam 1:10.664
5 Ed Jones UAE Carlin 1:10.887
6 Sean Galael INO Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:11.078
7 John Bryant-Meisner SWE Fortec Motorsport 1:11.519
8 Gustavo Menezes BRZ Van Amersfoort Racing 1:11.577
9 Felipe Guimaraes BRZ Double R Racing 1:11.583
10 Alexander Toril ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport 1:11.654
11 Tatiana Calderon COL Jo Zeller Racing 1:11.826
12 Michele Beretta ITA EuroInternational 1:11.931
13 Hector Hurst GBR Team West-Tec F3 1:12.693
14 Roy Nissany ISR Mücke Motorsport 1:13.066