Robert Shwartzman took his second pole position of the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship season on Friday as he grabbed top spot in the first Qualifying session at the Nurburgring.
The Russian, who is the only one of the five Prema Theodore Racing drivers not yet to have taken a victory this season, denied team-mate Mick Schumacher pole position by just 0.047 seconds in another very close session that saw twenty of the twenty-two drivers all within a second of his time of 1:20.637.
For a while it looked as though Alex Palou would line-up third for Hitech Bullfrog GP, but the Spaniard found himself shuffled down the pack late on, with championship leader Daniel Ticktum ultimately setting the third fastest time for Motopark, just 0.127 seconds down on Shwartzman, while his fellow Briton Enaam Ahmed was fourth for Hitech Bullfrog GP.
Estonian duo Ralf Aron (Prema Theodore Racing) and Jüri Vips (Motopark) will share the third row ahead of Palou and Prema’s Marcus Armstrong, with the New Zealander less than four-tenths of a second back on the pole time of his team-mate.
Completing the top ten for Saturday’s opening race was Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, the only driver from the British outfit to get inside the top twelve, and Motopark’s Marino Sato, with Prema’s Guanyu Zhou and Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein in eleventh and twelfth respectively.
Earlier in the day, Schumacher had set the best time across the two free practice sessions with a time of 1:20.719, with the German finishing ahead of Ticktum, Palou, Aberdein and Ahmed.
The opening race of the weekend gets underway early on Saturday morning before the drivers attack the circuit for a second qualifying session later in the day to determine the grid for races two and three, both of which take place on Sunday.
Nurburgring Race 1 Qualifying Result
|1||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Theodore Racing||1:20.637|
|2||4||Mick Schumacher||DEU||Prema Theodore Racing||1:20.684|
|4||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||1:20.890|
|5||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Theodore Racing||1:20.938|
|7||39||Alex Palou||ESP||Hitech Bullfrog GP||1:21.008|
|8||8||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Prema Theodore Racing||1:21.024|
|11||1||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Theodore Racing||1:21.137|
|15||12||Artem Petrov||RUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:21.324|
|18||25||Sophia Florsch||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:21.497|
|20||77||Ben Hingeley||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||1:21.595|
|21||15||Keyvan Andres||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:21.662|