Third pole of the season for Albon in Abu Dhabi

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 25 November 2016. Alexander Albon (THA, ART Grand Prix) World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _SLB0135

ART Grand Prix‘s Alexander Albon closed the gap to his team-mate Charles Leclerc to 25 points, after claiming the four points for pole position at the Yas Marina Circuit. The GP3 Series leader Leclerc could only qualify in fifth while fellow title challenger Antonio Fuoco found himself down in eleventh.

The Arden International pairing of Jake Dennis and Jack Aitken completed the top three.

As the session got underway, Albon immediately set the early pace before being bettered by Dennis by two tenths before he was surpassed by Nyck de Vries.

Albon pushed on but could only go as well as to splitting the two for P2 before the Arden driver reclaimed the spot. Series leader Leclerc’s best efforts earnt him third position for the first part of qualifying just a mere 0,005s faster than the Thai driver.

Dennis found some extra time but was still a way off the McLaren junior sitting on provisional pole.

When the cars returned to track after heading into the pitlane for fresh rubber and set up changes, Dennis lit the timing screen up to go quickest by almost half a second but was once again beaten by Albon who went to the top spot by two tenths.

Leclerc was also on a charge, lighting up sector one but failed to make an improvement of his lap. Dennis was also giving it his all on his final run but backed off after realised it would not be enough to beat Albon. As the chequered flag dropped Aitken shot up to third place.

At the end of the final GP3 qualifying session of 2016, Albon took pole position and thus also closed the gap to Leclerc. Dennis grabbed his third front row start of the season and Aitken completed the trio. De Vries qualified fourth ahead of team-mate Leclerc. Santino FerrucciArjun MainiKevin JörgSteijn Schothorst and Nirei Fukuzumi completed the top ten.

Race 1 takes place at 12.25 local time on Saturday, where Leclerc can be crowned champion.

Yas Marina Circuit Qualifying Results

13Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1m55.274
29Jake DennisGBRArden International1m55.514
311Jack AitkenGBRArden International1m55.604
44Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix1m55.629
51Charles LeclercMONART Grand Prix1m55.660
626Santion FerrucciJPNDAMS 1m55.678
720Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport1m55.683
828Kevin JörgSUIDAMS 1m55.892
923Steijn Schothorst NEDCampos Racing1m55.981
102Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix1m56.094
115Antonio FuocoITATrident 1m56.145
126Arjun JanoszMASTrident 1m56.154
1322Alex PalouESPCampos Racing1m56.155
1414Matthew ParryGBRKoiranen GP1m56.256
157Giuliano AlesiFRATrident 1m56.361
1624Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing1m56.563
178Sandy StuvikNEDTrident 1m56.570
1810Tatiana CalderonCOLArden International1m56.729
1918Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport1m56.732
2027Jake HughesGBRDAMS 1m56.995
2116Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP1m57.513
2219Alessio Lorandi ITAJenzer MotorsportNo Time