Robert Shwartzman will start the first ever FIA Formula 3 Championship Feature Race from pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tomorrow.
The Russian claimed pole by just over a tenth of a second from ART Grand Prix‘s Christian Lundgaard, with his PREMA Racing team-mate Marcus Armstrong completing the top three.
Running early on was disrupted by Alessio Deledda‘s Campos Racing machine coming to a halt at the run-off of Turn 11, meaning the Italian ending the session without having set a time.
The session resumed with just under 26 minutes remaining, giving the other drivers plenty of time to get flying laps in.
Reigning European F3 champions, PREMA opted to run their drivers (Shwartzman, Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala) in the mid-session gap to avoid traffic.
With thirty cars in the championship this season, it was important that the trio took advantage of the clean air.
It paid off, with all three ending in the top four with Shwartzman producing a stunning lap to go four tenths clear of the rest of the field.
However, Renault Sport Academy driver Lundgaard had other ideas and took the spot late on – forcing Shwartzman to return to the track.
In the end, the field was not as close as originally anticipated with eight tenths of a second separating pole to seventh place.
With Shwartzman on pole ahead of Lundgaard and Armstrong, Daruvala and Logan Sargeant completed the top five.
Simo Laaksonen and David Beckmann will line up in sixth and seventh.
Beckmann, had been going fast in the session but hit traffic on one of his quickest laps rescinding him to seventh.
Max Fewtrell, Alex Peroni and Yuki Tsunoda completed the top ten.
Pre-season favourite, Leonardo Pulcini struggled in the session and could on manage eighteenth on grid.
Jake Hughes was the slowest of those who set a timed lap, 2.1 seconds adrift Shwartzman, reporting he had no DRS on his car.
The first race of the season gets underway 10.15 local time tomorrow morning.
2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Qualifying
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