Esteban Ocon took pole position for the opening race of the Imola weekend of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, with his main championship rival Max Verstappen starting the race from down in fifteenth position due to his engine change penalty carried over from the Nurburgring.
Prema Powerteam driver Ocon led the way ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi in the first qualifying session of the weekend, with the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver missing out on pole by 0.132s. However a three-place penalty carried over from Germany means the Italian will start fifth. Jordan King will therefore start second for Carlin ahead of Giovinazzi’s team-mate Tom Blomqvist in third.
Verstappen could only qualify fifth in Imola, but will drop ten places as result of that engine change penalty he received in Germany in August. He will also drop the same amount of positions for race two, although the grid for that race will be decided in the second qualifying session of the weekend on Saturday.
Felix Rosenqvist moves up two positions on the grid to fourth after the penalties for Giovinazzi and Verstappen, while Jake Dennis will start sixth for Carlin ahead of practice pacesetter Antonio Fuoco of Prema Powerteam.
Lucas Auer will start eighth for Mücke Motorsport ahead of Nicholas Latifi of Prema Powerteam, while Sean Galael moves into the top ten for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin.
Galael was the cause of the first of two red flags that disrupted the session when he spun into the barriers at the Villeneuve chicane after being caught out by Verstappen ahead of him slowing down, while the second red flag was caused by ThreeBond with T-Sport driver Alexander Toril spinning off at Ravazza.
Imola Race 1 Qualifying Times
|1||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||1:36.479|
|3||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:36.973|
|4||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mücke Motorsport||1:37.016|
|5**||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:36.611|
|7||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||1:37.125|
|8||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mücke Motorsport||1:37.147|
|9||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||1:37.187|
|10||Sean Galael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:37.375|
|11||Dennis van de Laar||NED||Prema Powerteam||1:37.481|
|12||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||1:37.491|
|13||Gustavo Menezes||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:37.564|
|14||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jo Zeller Racing||1:37.592|
|15*||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:37.006|
|16||Jules Szymkowiak||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:37.659|
|19||Nick Cassidy||NZL||ThreeBond with T-Sport||1:37.775|
|20||Roy Nissany||ISR||Mücke Motorsport||1:37.925|
|21||Alexander Toril||ESP||ThreeBond with T-Sport||1:37.926|
|22||Richard Goddard||AUS||ThreeBond with T-Sport||1:38.105|
|23||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Fortec Motorsports||1:38.363|
|24||Martin Cao||CHN||Fortec Motorsports||1:38.415|
|25||Sergio Matte Camara||BRZ||EuroInternational||1:38.609|
|27||Andy Chang||CHN||Team West-Tec F3||1:39.292|
|* Ten place penalty for engine change *|
|** Three place penalty for avoidable collision in Germany **|