By virtue of having the last pit garage on pit lane, Lirim Zendeli was able to avoid the chaos behind him to take his first pole in FIA Formula 3.
The German has improved massively in 2020 and he showed so again by setting a very quick time on his first flying lap and he was rewarded with a fortunately timed red flag and, later in the session, rain to earn pole position.
The red flag was caused by one of a handful of new drivers for this weekend, Michael Belov who ended his first qualifying before it really began by getting wide at Pouhon and losing control of his car as it speared backwards into the tyre barriers.
After the red flag was withdrew, those who hadn’t set a time were able to do so but none could overhaul Zendeli on their first runs, and no one had the chance to try again as the rain came down, ending everyone’s chances of pole position.
Alongside the Trident on the front row will be two-time race-winner Théo Pourchaire who had his best qualifying of the season as he too got a lap in before the early red flag.
As did his ART teammate Aleksandr Smolyar who ended up third fastest ahead of championship leader Logan Sargeant who was the fastest of those who had to go after the red flag.
Sargeant will still be satisfied despite the end of his pole position streak – which was at three in a row coming into this weekend – as his title rival and PREMA teammate Oscar Piastri will have to come from eighth on the grid.
David Beckmann, Zendeli’s teammate, made the error of dropping back into the mammoth pack of cars on his first run which stopped him from setting a time similar to that of Zendeli but he recovered well to fifth.
Richard Verschoor enjoyed a far better qualifying after a woeful performance at Catalunya last time out in sixth ahead of Liam Lawson and Piastri.
The third PREMA of Frederik Vesti was ninth fastest and will be hoping for rain to mix things up for him for the race after his stunning drive to victory in Austria. He will line up on the fifth row alongside Alex Peroni.
|6||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||2:06:144|
|7||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||2:06:172|
|12||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||2:06:468|
|13||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||2:06:505|
|15||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||2:06:758|
|19||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||2:07:504|
|27||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||2:08:981|
|28||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||2:20:969|
|29||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||NO TIME|
|30||Michael Belov||Charouz||NO TIME|