Norris Dominates Opening Qualifying at Wet Nurburgring

Lando Norris dominated the first qualifying session at the Nurburgring - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

In a championship where hundredths, or sometimes even thousandths of a second make all the difference, Lando Norris secured pole position for race one at the Nurburgring by more than nine-tenths of a second.

The session was held in wet conditions, and Norris put his Carlin machine on pole with a best time of 1:35.601s, 0.907 seconds faster than Jake Hughes, who could only take his Hitech Grand Prix machine around the track in a time of 1:36.508s.

Such was the domination of Norris, he set another three laps that would have been enough for him to get onto pole position, and he left all of his championship challengers in his wake.

Callum Ilott made it a trio of Brits at the head of the field, with the Prema Powerteam driver just 0.027 seconds off Hughes, while Sacha Fenestraz impressed in his first qualifying session in the championship, setting the fourth fastest time for Carlin having had just a couple of practice sessions to acclimatise himself to the car and circuit configuration.

Norris’ main rival for the championship, Maximilian Günther, could only muster fifth on the grid, with the Prema Powerteam driver 1.303 seconds off the pole time, and he will be joined on row three by Hitech Grand Prix’s Ralf Aron.

Jehan Daruvala made it three Carlin cars inside the top seven, while Joey Mawson was the sole Van Amersfoort Racing representative inside the top ten, finishing eighth fastest, ahead of Hitech Grand Prix duo Nikita Mazepin and Tadasuke Makino.

Max Defourny qualified eleventh for Van Amersfoort Racing on his debut in the championship, but there was more qualifying disappointment for Joel Eriksson, who continues to see his championship ambitions slide away in twelfth for Motopark, just ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Guan Yu Zhou.

The final debutant this weekend, Romanian Petru Florescu, will start Saturday’s first race from seventeenth on the grid for Motopark.

Nurburgring Race 1 Qualifying Result

131Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:35.601
234Jake HughesGBRHitech Grand Prix1:36.508
353Callum IlottGBRPrema Powerteam1:36.535
437Sacha FenestrazFRACarlin1:36.813
53Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam1:36.904
67Ralf AronESTHitech Grand Prix1:37.052
727Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin1:37.070
896Joey MawsonAUSVan Amersfoort Racing1:37.133
999Nikita MazepinRUSHitech Grand Prix1:37.200
1011Tadasuke MakinoJAPHitech Grand Prix1:37.233
1115Max DefournyBELVan Amersfoort Racing1:37.494
121Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark1:37.533
1362Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin1:37.742
148Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Powerteam1:37.981
155Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing1:37.982
1625Mick SchumacherGERPrema Powerteam1:38.050
1710Petru FlorescuROMMotopark1:38.361
1855David BeckmannGERMotopark1:39.359
1933Marino SatoJAPMotopark1:39.529
2017Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:39.961
2121Ameya VaidyanathanINDCarlin1:40.135
2247Keyvan Andres SooriGERMotopark1:43.003