Formula 3

Lundgaard on pole at Monza after red flag due to chaotic traffic

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Christian Lundgaard - ART Grand Prix at the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Qualifying
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA F3 Championship

Christian Lundgaard took his second pole position of this year’s FIA Formula 3 Championship at Monza.

Although the Dane was relieved to be qualifying fastest, it was not without the scares of slower cars impeding him and his rivals on their last runs.

Following the conditions during FIA Formula 2 Qualifying just before and the track drying, the lap times would tumble down quickly during the FIA Formula 3 session.

The end of the first seven minutes saw Niko Kari in the Trident fastest of all with a 1:41.722, half a second clear of his nearest challenger Liam Lawson.

The Finn’s place at the top would shortly be taken away though by the Kiwi on the next flying lap, as Lawson went significantly quicker on a 1:40.383, while Felipe Drugovich for Carlin Buzz Racing, leapt up to second and four tenths behind. Devlin DeFrancesco, Sebastián Fernández and Leonardo Pulcini made up the top five by this point.

Eleven minutes into the session and Jake Hughes inherited pole with a 1:39.444, six hundredths clear of Marcus Armstrong in second position. Armstrong’s team-mate and title-rival Jehan Daruvala was third and Lundgaard in fourth, with the two HWA Racelab cars of Keyvan Andres and Bent Viscaal fifth and sixth.

Armstrong was next to go fastest, albeit a few seconds before Lundgaard bettered his time with a 1:38.834 by a tenth of a second. The order at the half-way point was Lundgaard, Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, Daruvala, Teppei Natori, Max Fewtrell, Richard Verschoor, Kari, and Hughes making up the top ten.

The beginning of the chaos would then follow when the drivers were preparing for their last runs, finding track position and potentially gaining time by getting a tow from the car in front.

Whilst David Beckmann, Fewtrell, Lundgaard, Armstrong and Shwartzman were on their first flying laps during their final runs, they came across a whole line of cars, who were on their out laps, before the Parabolica and they all reluctantly had to back off to avoid colliding with any of the other drivers.

Due to the heavy traffic and safety concerns, the stewards took the decision to red flag the session early with under four minutes remaining, leaving Christian Lundgaard on pole and doing so, he becomes the first repeat-pole-sitter in F3 this season.

The only change of classification in the top ten on the last run was Lirim Zendeli, who had made a huge jump up to fifth and three tenths off pole before the stoppage. Jüri Vips though has a mountain to climb in tomorrow’s race from fourteenth to keep his title hopes alive.

The first race of the weekend begins on Saturday morning at 10:30 (GMT+2).

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