ROOKIE LANDO NORRIS ON POLE AT SPA
Event: 06 Spa-Francorchamps
Session: Qualifying 1
Track: Spa-Francorchamps / BEL
Pole position: Lando Norris (Carlin)
Weather: overcast, 17.3 °C
At the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 circuit, Lando Norris (Carlin, 2m12.144s) claimed pole position in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The rookie, who is supported by the McLaren Formula 1 team, completed his fastest lap of the 7.004 kilometres long Ardennes roller coaster 0.225 seconds faster than his compatriot Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 2m12.369s). Third place went to Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 2m12.420s). Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 2m12.588s), the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader, secured fourth place from Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix,2m12.668s) and Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 2m12.918s).
With most of free practice and the official test day on Tuesday still having taken place at a damp track, the competitors from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship found nearly dry track conditions for the first time this weekend. Halfway through the session, Callum Ilott was on top from Lando Norris, but the Prema driver turned out to be unable to hold on to this position till the end. Two minutes later, Norris already managed to post a faster lap time and the 17-year old went up into the lead from Ilott and Günther. Soon after that, Jake Hughes moved ahead of Günther into third place.
Nikita Mazepin ended up fifth in qualifying, which will award the Russian protégé of the Force India Formula 1 team the best starting position in an FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the current season. Guanyu Zhou, Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 2m12.969s), Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix, 2m13.077s), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 2m13.095s) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 2m13.105s) rounded out the top ten.
Lando Norris (Carlin): “First place came a bit unexpected for me. This was the first session on a dry track all week, so that we didn’t know exactly what set-up we had to take for the car. Some parts of the track were still a bit damp which made things more difficult. I made a few mistakes and the tyres degraded as well. Still, I think that both myself and my team have done quite a good job, also bearing in mind that I didn’t have any slipstream at all.”