Home Featured Gabriele Mini claims Monaco F3 pole for second year in a row

Gabriele Mini claims Monaco F3 pole for second year in a row

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Gabriele Mini has claimed Formula 3 pole position on the streets of Monaco for the second year in succession.

Prema’s Alpine junior Mini ran in the first group on track for even-numbered cars, where it was Macau Grand Prix winner Luke Browning who set the pace most of the way – being the first driver to push hard even though he joined the session at the back of the pack.

It was Leonardo Fornaroli who was getting closest to Browning’s times at first, with Mini then a third of a second down with a couple of minutes remaining.

On his last lap, Browning set a fastest second sector but hit the barrier on the exit of the Swimming Pool section, damaging his steering. He managed to get his Hitech car back to the pits without causing a yellow or red flag.

Mini therefore had a clean run to become the first and ultimately only driver to dip below 1m24s, going almost three tenths faster than Browning’s best as he set a 1m23.942s.

Fornaroli improved on his last lap but had to settle for third in the group ahead of Mari Boya – who was also on course to improve before contact with the inside barrier at the Swimming Pool caused him to cut across the chicane.

Noel Leon took fifth and Laurens van Hoepen sixth, with Ollie Goethe, who also “touched the wall quite hard” in the Swimming Pool, ending up seventh and outside of the reversed-grid positions.

The second group was red-flagged early on without any representative times on the board after debutant James Hedley locked up and hit the barrier in Sainte Devote, removing his front wing. He was able to return the pits, but prevented by new regulations regarding red flag incidents from returning to the track to gain crucial dry mileage.

Dino Beganovic, Mini’s Prema team-mate and Monaco rival 12 months ago, set the pace in the second group but his second flying lap was bettered first by his rookie team-mate Arvid Lindblad and then by ART Grand Prix’s Christian Mansell.

Beganovic was set to the be the first driver to post his final attempt and was half a second up on Mansell’s time, only for the session to be ended early when he was just metres from taking the chequered flag.

Hedley’s Jenzer team-mate Charlie Wurz had crashed into the same barrier at Ste Devote with Sebastian Montoya heading up the escape road in advoidance.

That left Mansell securing a place on the front row for the feature race, almost one second down on Mini’s time, with Monaco debutant Lindblad and Beganovic to line up on rows two and three.

Another Monaco first-timer Joseph Loake will join Boya on row four after an impressive effort for Rodin Motorsport put him ahead of Tim Tramnitz and Nikola Tsolov – who is set to start the sprint race from reversed-grid pole next to team-mate van Hoepen.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Group A Group B
1 Gabriele Mini Prema 1m23.942s
2 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix 1m24.921s
3 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m24.230s
4 Arvid Lindblad Prema 1m24.940s
5 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m24.295s
6 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m25.078s
7 Mari Boya Campos Racing 1m24.787s
8 Joseph Loake Rodin Motorsport 1m25.443s
9 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing 1m24.801s
10 Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport 1m25.524s
11 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 1m24.931s
12 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 1m25.548s
13 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing 1m25.061s
14 Sami Meguetounif Trident 1m25.574s
15 Kacper Sztuka MP Motorsport 1m25.557s
16 Nikita Bedrin AIX Racing 1m25.644s
17 Santiago Ramos Trident 1m25.590s
18 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing 1m25.674s
19 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 1m25.730s
20 Callum Voisin Rodin Motorsport 1m25.992s
21 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin Motorsport 1m25.842s
22 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport 1m26.049s
23 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport 1m25.995s
24 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing 1m26.069s
25 Joshua Dufek AIX Racing 1m26.124s
26 Alex Dunne MP Motorsport 1m26.102s
27 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak AIX Racing 1m26.316s
28 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP 1m26.594s
29 Cian Shields Hitech GP 1m26.362s
30 James Hedley Jenzer Motorsport 2m00.304s