Stroll takes maiden pole for Paul Ricard opener

Lance Stroll took his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship pole position for the season opening race of the season in Paul Ricard on Friday.

The Canadian, amongst the favourites for the championship in his sophomore season with Prema Powerteam, took top spot with a time of 1m24.218s, and will be joined on the front row by team-mate Nick Cassidy, who ended 0.081s back.

Motopark’s Red Bull-backed Niko Kari impressed on debut to qualify third, just 0.248s back on the pole time, while George Russell of Hitech GP will join the Finn on the second row, with the Briton just 0.023s behind.

Ben Barnicoat made it two Hitech GP entries inside the top five, with Mikkel Jensen sixth for Mücke Motorsport ahead of Motopark’s second Red Bull-backed driver Sergio Sette Camara and Prema Powerteam’s Maximilian Günther.

Joel Eriksson will start his first European Formula 3 race from ninth in the third Motopark entry, while the top ten is rounded out by Carlin’s Alessio Lorandi.

It was a disappointing session for the highly rated quartet of the Van Amersfoort Racing team, with Harrison Newey the best of the foursome in twelfth, with Anthoine Hubert thirteenth, Pedro Piquet fifteenth and Callum Ilott eighteenth.

Paul Ricard Race 1 Qualifying Result

11Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam1m24.218s11
22Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam1m24.299s8
310Niko KariFINMotopark1m24.466s9
412George RussellGBRHitech GP1m24.489s10
524Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP1m24.545s10
67Mikkel JensenDENMucke Motorsport1m24.574s10
79Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotopark1m24.593s9
817Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam1m24.629s10
922Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark1m24.681s9
104Alessio LorandiITACarlin1m24.884s9
1116Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam1m24.938s10
1220Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1m25.026s12
1321Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort Racing1m25.067s10
1419Raoul HymanRSACarlin1m25.113s11
155Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing1m25.119s10
1623Guanyu ZhouCHNMotopark1m25.148s9
173Ryan TveterUSACarlin1m25.198s9
186Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1m25.394s7
1911Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP1m25.737s10
2015Arjun MainiINDThreeBond with T-Sport1m25.950s11
2118Zhi Cong LiCHNCarlin1m28.098s9