F3 - Russell and Lorandi claim maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole positions | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F3 - Russell and Lorandi claim maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole positions

14.05.16
In changeable weather conditions, George Russell (HitechGP) claimed pole position for the eight race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.

On Saturday afternoon, Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) will be starting alongside the Brit from the front row of the grid, followed by Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark), Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) and Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam). The top six on the starting grid for the third race at the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit of Pau in the south of France has Lorandi ahead of Stroll, Sette Câmara, Cassidy, Russell and Ilott. Both for British driver Russell and for Italian Lorandi, their pole positions were their first in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Starting grid race two

In the first group, Lance Stroll (1:21.968 minutes) already moved up to the top position at an early stage. Towards the halfway point, Nick Cassidy (1:22.200 minutes) came to the fore, but soon had to hand his leading position to Callum Ilott (1:21.708 minutes). Even though Stroll temporarily claimed back first place from the Brit, Ilott was able to counter in time and restore the order. After Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:24.050 minutes) had crashed into the tyre stacks with one minute remaining, the session was stopped early and Ilott had secured first place from Stroll, Cassidy, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:22.370 minutes), Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:22.513 minutes) and newcomer David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:23.050 minutes), who ended up sixth in his class in his first outing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

In the second group, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1:22.938 minutes) was the erstwhile leader until he made a mistake and retired. In order to allow for the German’s car to be recovered, the session was briefly interrupted. Once the action had resumed, Günther dropped back further and further down the ranks and eventually ended up in tenth place. The battle for first position, on the other hand, remained open until the final seconds. Initially, Sérgio Sette Câmara (1:21.371 minutes) toppled Günther from the lead, but then, the Brazilian was outpaced by Alessio Lorandi (1:21.530 minutes). In the dying stages, George Russell (1:21.281 minutes) managed to improve his time, which saw him move up to first place. Sette Câmara eventually ended up second from Lorandi, Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam, 1:21.638 minutes), Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP, 1:21.667 minutes) and Ryan Tveter (Carlin, 1:21.869 minutes).

Like in first qualifying, the following procedure is used to determine the starting grid positions: the driver with the outright fastest time, in this case George Russell, will be starting from pole position while all the other drivers in his qualifying group will follow in a straight line behind him. The second group will make up the other row of the grid in the order of the classification of qualifying, so that one group will be on the left-hand side and one group will be on the right-hand side.

Starting grid race three

In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, Lance Stroll (1:22.153 minutes) came out on top in the first group. Nick Cassidy (1:22.374 minutes) followed in second place from Callum Ilott (1:22.407 minutes), Mikkel Jensen (1:22.440 minutes), Anthoine Hubert (1:22.750 minutes) and David Beckmann (1:23.294 minutes). In the second group, the order was Alessio Lorandi (1:21.586 minutes) from Sérgio Sette Câmara (1:21.652 minutes), George Russell (1:21.728 minutes), Ben Barnicoat (1:21.855 minutes), Ryan Tveter (1:22.074 minutes) and Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1:22.091 minutes). With the fastest lap time of all drivers, the Italian has secured the best starting grid position for the third race of the weekend.

George Russell (HitechGP): “I managed to cross the line with less than two seconds remaining, so that I was still able to do one more lap. I gave my utmost and I drove the lap of my life that turned out to be enough to claim pole position. Because of the changeable conditions, it wasn’t easy today. In first qualifying, our car wasn’t perfect yet, but it was all the better in the second session. I am really delighted with my pole position.”

Alessio Lorandi (Carlin): “For most of the time in this qualifying, I was on top, but towards the end, I had some troubles with the tyres. I still tried everything, but on my final lap, I also made a slight error, so that I ended up second in my group. In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, however, I came out on top, which gave me pole position for the third race. Claiming my maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole position at Pau is great and I am really happy.”