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F3 - Jüri Vips and Robert Shvartzman celebrate pole positions

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2018 Race of Hockenheim - Qualifying 2 & 3

Jüri Vips (Motopark) posted the fastest time in the final moments of second qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, he outpaced Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing), Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and will be starting the 29th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season from pole position. For the 30th and final race of the year, Shvartzman will be starting from the best grid position. Schumacher, Vips and Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP) will be lining up behind the Russian.

Starting grid race two 
Second qualifying was thrilling from the very beginning with the names in the top positions changing all the time. Around the halfway point, Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 1m32.666s) was on top from Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 1m32.489s) and Ben Hingeley (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 1m32.966s). However, the Hitech trio was unable to keep the positions at the top of the ranking.

Just before the end of qualifying, Mick Schumacher (1m32.402s) had moved up into first place, but the final flying lap by Jüri Vips (1m32.284s) was even faster than Schumacher’s fastest time. Thus, the Motopark driver secured pole position from Schumacher, Robert Shvartzman (1m32.406s), Jehan Daruvala (1m32.408s), Palou, Julian Hanses (Carlin, 1m32.630s), Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin, 1m32.636s), Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m32.650s), Fabio Scherer (Motopark, 1m32.665s) and Ahmed.

The gap from pace-setter Vips to Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1m32.783s), classified 16th, made it clear once more how extremely close competition is in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. On one lap, the Austrian was just 0.499 seconds slower than the rookie driver from Estonia.

Starting grid race three 
In the ranking of the second-fastest lap times to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of the weekend, Shvartzman (1m32.443s) came out on top. Schumacher (1m32.500s), Vips (1m32.554s), Palou (1m32.558s), Aron (1m32.663s), Daruvala (1m32.684s), Fenestraz (1m32.685s), Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m32.735s), Ahmed (1m32.738s) and Daniel Ticktum (Motopark, 1m32.773s) followed in second to tenth place. In this ranking, it was extremely close, too: down to Julian Hanses (1m32.497s) in 16th place, the drivers were separated by only 0.504 seconds.

Jüri Vips (Motopark): “Being on pole position here is a really great feeling, especially as the Prema drivers were usually in front of us during the past weeks. Prior to the weekend, I had never expected to be up front. And when I am honest, I don’t really know why it worked out that well here. At the Red Bull Ring, I also had the impression that my performance was good, but the results weren’t there. Now, I can not only be happy with my personal performance, but also with the results.”

Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing): “Pole position is a great feeling. The two qualifying sessions here at Hockenheim went well for me. Next to pole position, I have also scored a pair of third places. Now, I have to try to do as well as possible in the race and to score as many points as possible. I am very happy with the end of my season, my team and I have improved a lot and at least at the end of the year, we have been able to show what we can achieve. I am very happy with that.”