Max Verstappen unbeatable in the rain

Season race: 25 of 33
Track: Nürburgring
Pole position race 1: Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Weather: rain

In qualifying for the 25th season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:37.036 minutes) came out on top and claimed pole position on a rain-soaked track. The 16-year-old Dutchman, who was appointed a member of the Red Bull Junior Team only a few days ago, completed the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit 0.649 seconds faster than second-placed Edward Jones (Carlin, 1:37.685 minutes). Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational, 1:38.079 minutes) claimed third place, his best classification in a FIA Formula European Championship qualifying to date. The youngest driver in the field was 0.074 seconds faster than Lotus Formula 1 junior driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam, 1:38.153 minutes), who had to make do with fourth place.

Max Verstappen dominated the entire first qualifying and eventually claimed first place. Edward Jones only moved up into second place in the final seconds of the session. Santino Ferrucci also set his personal fastest time in the closing stages and moved up to third place. As a result, Esteban Ocon, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader, dropped back from second to fourth place just before the end of the session. Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam, 1:38.262 minutes) and Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:38.375 minutes) also lost two positions in the closing stages. They ended up fifth and sixth respectively.

Seventh place behind Austrian driver Auer went to Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:38.501 minutes), who scored his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win at the Red Bull Ring a fortnight earlier. His team-mate Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:38.610 minutes) was classified eighth from Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:38.728 minutes) and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:38.735 minutes).

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “My qualifying was quite good, but it wasn’t too difficult. I like the Nürburgring and I really like to drive here. On top of that, my car was perfect, the only thing I had to do is drive it without any accidents. Claiming pole position in my first qualifying as a Red Bull Junior Team member is a great feeling.”