Russian rookie Aleksandr Smolyar proved his talent in wet conditions in the rescheduled FIA Formula 3 qualifying session by taking his first pole in the series.
Qualifying had been postponed in the afternoon due to excessive rain and a tightening time frame which meant that the series had to reschedule the session for the evening after all of the other planned sessions had been run.
This was a relief for championship front runners Lirim Zendeli and Liam Lawson who caused the red flag to the original session after aquaplaning off the circuit at the same corner.
Under the setting sun and on a still wet track, Smolyar was always a class above and took pole position by two tenths over American Logan Sargeant.
Théo Pourchaire was also very impressive in the tricky conditions at 16 years of age to qualify third ahead of Frederik Vesti and the pleasantly surprising Calan Williams for Jenzer.
Championship leader Oscar Piastri qualified sixth which was a much better scenario than if the session wasn’t run as he was only twenty-eighth in practice which could have set the grid for race one.
Sebastián Fernández was seventh and may be a tad disappointed to be the lowest placed ART on the grid with his teammate on pole.
Behind him was MP Motorsport’s dynamic Dutch duo Richard Verschoor and Bent Viscaal who set their best laps late in the session after a quiet start.
Norwegian rookie Dennis Hauger completed the top ten, out-qualifying his more experienced Hitech GP teammates Lawson and Max Fewtrell.
But they all beat practice pace-setter David Beckmann as Trident struggled in the wet. Beckmann was only fourteenth with Zendeli twenty-fifth.
It was more bad news for Jake Hughes after he couldn’t back up his fourth in practice with twenty-first in qualifying. His aim now is to get into the top ten in race one and hopefully benefit from the reverse grid.
|8||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1:52:352|
|9||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||1:52:460|
|10||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||1:52:471|
|11||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||1:52:638|
|13||Max Fewtrell||Hitech GP||1:53:001|
|19||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||1:53:432|
|20||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||1:53:479|
|21||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||1:53:501|
|22||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||1:53:648|
|23||Enaam Ahmed||Carlin Buzz Racing||1:53:751|
|26||Clément Novalak||Carlin Buzz Racing||1:53:991|
|27||Cameron Das||Carlin Buzz Racing||1:54:000|