Albon takes maiden pole in Silverstone

2016 GP3 Series Round 3. Silverstone, Northamptonshire, UK. Saturday 9 July 2016. Alexander Albon (THA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _79P4150

ART Grand Prix‘s Alexander Albon took his debut pole position in the GP3 Series  after coming out on top in the wet conditions.

Team-mate, and championship leader, Charles Leclerc had qualified in second place but will start seventh when he serves the grid penalty he was issued with in Spielberg. Therefore, Sandy Stuvik will start from second making it an all Thai front-row. Rookie Arjun Maini lines up in third.

Konstantin Tereschenko set the early pace as few drivers were caught out when the rain started to fall heavier – Nirei Fukuzumi survived a small spin whilst Antonio Fuoco took a trip through the gravel.

The red flag was brought out when DAMS‘ Kevin Jörg made contact with the barrier at Stowe, ending the Swiss driver’s session.

When the session resumed, Matthew Parry was first to leave the pit lane opting to remain on the slick tyres, whilst some drivers such as Jake Hughes, Fuoco and Steijn Schothorst chose the wet Pirelli rubber.

Tyre strategy became the focus of the rest of the session and thought further rain fell, the slick tyre was producing the better results. Leclerc and Parry battled it out for the top spot before Jack Aitken jumped into provisional pole – only to then be better by his teammate Jack Dennis to lead a British one-two.

Fuoco found some extra pace to go top before Hughes lapped 0.001 seconds faster than the Italian. Parry returned to the top of the timings by half a second but his time was deleted due to track limits.

Rookie, Arjun Maini took over at the top in the final stages before Albon completed a flying lap over 1 second faster than his rivals.

A second red flag was brought out after contact was made between Leclerc and Santino Ferrucci leaving both cars damaged and the American driver stopping on track whilst Leclerc limped back into the pit lane. Following the session Ferrucci was handed a five-place grid drop by the stewards which will be applied for the race.

The session resumed with just two minutes on the clock, with Albon managing to keep hold of his first pole position and bag the four points on offer. The Thai driver is now just one point adrift of Leclerc in the title battle. Stuvik produced his best qualifying in the series and lines up second with Maini in third.

Matevos Isaakyan also had a fantastic qualifying to line up in fourth, followed by: Hughes, Fuoco, Leclerc*, Fukuzumi, Ralph Boschung and Giuliano Alesi completing the top ten.

This afternoon’s 20 lap race starts at 16:20 local time.

Silverstone Qualifying Results

13Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1m47.348
21Charles Leclerc*MONART Grand Prix1m48.098
38Sandy StuvikTHATrident1m48.290
416Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport1m48.393
516Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP1m48.539
627Jake HughesGBRDAMS 1m48.567
75Antonio FuocoITATrident1m48.568
818Akash Nandy*MASJenzer Motorsport1m48.658
92Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix1m48.664
1017Ralph BoschungSUIKoiranen GP1m48.674
117Giuliano AlesiFRATrident1m48.749
1214Matthew ParryGBRKoiranen GP1m48.758
139Jake DennisGBRArden International1m48.831
1411Jack AitkenGBRArden International1m48.855
1522Alex PalouESPCampos Racing1m49.053
1624Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing1m49.138
1726Santino FerrucciUSADAMS 1m49.269
1823Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing1m49.368
1910Tatiana CalderonCOLArden International1m49.733
204Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix1m49.934
216Artur JanoszPOLTrident1m50.005
2228Kevin JörgSUIDAMS No Time

*Charles Leclerc and Akash Nandy both received five place grid penalties following the Sprint Race in Spielberg