Home Featured Fornaroli wins duel with Mini for F3 pole in Melbourne

Fornaroli wins duel with Mini for F3 pole in Melbourne

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli topped FIA Formula 3 qualifying in Melbourne to start Sunday’s feature race from pole position.

The Italian edged countryman Gabriele Mini by a narrow margin of 0.019 seconds. Prema’s Dino Beganovic rounded off the top three, 0.3 seconds off pole.

Fornaroli was quick from the off, setting the pace by 0.424s over Prema’s Mini on his the first flying lap. Mini improved on his next lap lap to sit 0.02s behind.

Laptimes improved, but only Hitech GP’s Luke Browning was able to get within half a second of the top two as the first runs came to an end.

Drivers went back on track for a second run on a new set of medium compound tyres with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.

Trident’s Sami Meguetounif brought red flags out with four-and-a-half minutes to go as he drove wide at the exit of the last corner and crashed, causing huge damage to his car.

The session resumed with Mini’s 1m33.505s — set just before qualifying was halted — being the time to beat. There was time for one more flying lap and Fornaroli regained top spot by going 0.8s faster than his previous best effort. Mini also improved, but came just short of reclaiming first place.

PHM Racing’s Nikita Bedrin qualified fourth behind Ferrari junior Beganovic, and Williams junior Browning was fifth.

ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov was sixth fastest, and will serve a three-place grid penalty in the reversed-grid sprint race for causing a collision with MP Motorsport’s Alex Dunne in free practice.

Campos Racing’s Mari Boya had his last lap deleted almost immediately, demoting him from sixth to 12th place. That would have put the Spaniard on sprint race pole, but some time after qualifying he had his best lap reinstated, which demoted ART GP’s Laurens van Hoepen to 12th on the timesheet and therefore on reversed-grid pole.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m33.044s 15
2 Gabriele Mini Prema 1m33.063s +0.019s 15
3 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m33.344s +0.300s 15
4 Nikita Bedin PHM Racing 1m33.389s +0.345s 14
5 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m33.435s +0.391s 15
6 Mari Boya Campos Racing 1m34.212s +1.168s 14
7 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 1m33.584s +0.540s 15
8 Arvid Lindblad Prema 1m33.716s +0.672s 15
9 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing 1m33.767s +0.723s 13
10 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix 1m33.969s +0.925s 15
11 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP 1m34.095s +1.051s 15
12 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 1m34.108s +1.064s 14
13 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing 1m34.287s +1.243s 13
14 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.312s +1.268s 14
15 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing 1m34.323s +1.279s 14
16 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.358s +1.314s 14
17 Alex Dunne MP Motorsport 1m34.421s +1.377s 15
18 Santiago Ramos Trident 1m34.464s +1.420s 15
19 Kacper Sztuka MP Motorsport 1m34.485s +1.441s 15
20 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.487s +1.443s 14
21 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.517s +1.473s 14
22 Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport 1m34.527s +1.483s 16
23 Callum Voisin Rodin Motorsport 1m34.773s +1.729s 13
24 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.902s +1.858s 14
25 Sami Meguetounif Trident 1m35.062s +2.018s 10
26 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin Motorsport 1m35.413s +2.369s 13
27 Cian Shields Hitech GP 1m35.519s +2.475s 14
28 Joseph Loake Rodin Motorsport 1m35.700s +2.656s 12
29 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak PHM Racing 1m36.186s +3.142s 14
30 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing + 14