Home Featured Colapinto storms to pole on his and VAR’s FIA F3 debut in Bahrain

Colapinto storms to pole on his and VAR’s FIA F3 debut in Bahrain

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Franco Colapino stormed to pole position on his and Van Amersfoort Racing’s FIA Formula 3 Championship debut in qualifying for the opening round of the 2022 season in Bahrain.

Colapinto spent most of the session at the back of the order without a representative lap time on the board having had laps deleted. With less than 10 minutes on the clock he shot up the order to P1 with his first competitive time. A 1m46.249s time was enough to put him comfortably at the top of the order ahead of Roman Stanek.

Stanek had spent most of the session towards the top of the order, though wasn’t quite able to put himself at the top of the times at any point. His quickest time put him just 0.065 seconds behind Colapinto.

Kush Maini had been at the tail end as the field started their flying laps, with his position even more uncertain after he missed the weighbridge on the way into the pits about 20 minutes into the session.

However, as one of the final drivers in the train of cars setting their final flying laps, he jumped up to third as he took the chequered flag, just a further 0.008s behind Stanek, but will likely face an investigation for missing the weighbridge.

Gregory Saucy went fastest early on and ended the session fourth ahead of his ART Grand Prix team-mates Victor Martins and a flying Juan Manuel Correa. Zane Maloney just pipped Alexander Smolyar to stay seventh.

After an uncertain pre-season, Smolyar was on the pace throughout the afternoon. He went fastest on a clear track in the middle of the session, three tenths of a second quicker than the next fastest driver, and remained there until the final set of laps.

After slipping back down the order, he looked set to improve on his final lap when he came across Ayrton Simmons in the last corner. The disrupted lap meant he didn’t improve and he ended the session eighth ahead of Isack Hadjar and David Vidales.

Zak O’Sullivan placed 12th overall, putting himself on pole for the reversed-grid sprint race ahead of Olli Bearman. F3 debutant Bearman was the fastest of the Prema drivers in 11th, with Arthur Leclerc 14th and Jak Crawford 21st after his mechanics worked frantically on his car prior to the final runs.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Franco Colapinto Van Amersfoort Racing 1m46.249s 12
2 Roman Stanek Trident 1m46.314s +0.065s 11
3 Kush Maini MP Motorsport 1m46.322s +0.073s 11
4 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 1m46.410s +0.161s 11
5 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m46.412s +0.163s 11
6 Juan Manuel Correa ART Grand Prix 1m46.600s +0.351s 12
7 Zane Maloney Trident 1m46.622s +0.373s 11
8 Alexander Smolyar MP Motorsport 1m46.642s +0.393s 12
9 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m46.649s +0.400s 11
10 David Vidales Campos Racing 1m46.707s +0.458s 12
11 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m46.843s +0.594s 11
12 Zak O’Sullivan Carlin 1m46.860s +0.611s 11
13 Caio Collet MP Motorsport 1m46.945s +0.696s 11
14 Arthur Leclerc Prema 1m46.961s +0.712s 11
15 Jonny Edgar Trident 1m47.025s +0.776s 11
16 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m47.086s +0.837s 11
17 Reece Ushijima Van Amersfoort Racing 1m47.123s +0.874s 11
18 William Alatalo Jenzer Motorsport 1m47.159s +0.910s 11
19 Kaylen Frederick Hitech GP 1m47.207s +0.958s 11
20 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m47.303s +1.054s 12
21 Jak Crawford Prema 1m47.371s +1.122s 11
22 Ido Cohen Jenzer Motorsport 1m47.444s +1.195s 11
23 Francesco Pizzi Charouz Racing System 1m47.499s +1.250s 11
24 Brad Benavides Carlin 1m47.566s +1.317s 11
25 Niko Kari Jenzer Motorsport 1m47.646s +1.397s 11
26 Hunter Yeany Campos Racing 1m47.695s +1.446s 12
27 Nazim Azman Hitech GP 1m47.702s +1.453s 11
28 Enzo Trulli Carlin 1m47.796s +1.547s 11
29 Laszlo Toth Charouz Racing System 1m47.930s +1.681s 11
30 Ayrton Simmons Charouz Racing System 1m48.009s +1.760s 11