Home Featured Lando Norris blitzes second F3 qualifying for double Pau pole

Lando Norris blitzes second F3 qualifying for double Pau pole

by Peter Allen


Lando Norris aced?second qualifying in the Formula 3 European Championship at Pau to claim a double pole position, including for the Pau Grand Prix finale.


Rookie Norris was half a second quicker in his qualifying group than Friday?session pace-setter Callum Ilott, who joined him in the first half of the session after qualifying groups were re-calculated based on championship positions after the opening race.

Norris took top spot away from Ilott with six minutes left of the first segment and put in three further fastest times over the remainder of the session, despite his Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala triggering a full course yellow with four minutes left when he crashed at Foch.

His last lap of 1m09.085s was 0.524 seconds quicker than the best managed by compatriot Ilott.

Top spot in the second group changed hands several times but Maximilian Gunther took charge in the final two minutes, posting a 1m09.435s and following it with a 1m09.450s to guarantee himself a place on the front row for both Sunday races.

He couldn?t match Norris? best, or his second?best of 1m09.308s, ensuring the 17-year-old will start his first Pau Grand Prix from pole in the final race of the weekend.

Race one winner and championship leader Joel Eriksson looked poised for only 10th on the grid before a last effort put him second to Gunther in the second group, and he will start both races from fourth.

Beyond the top two drivers in each half, the second group appeared stronger.

Nikita Mazepin surprised to snatch top spot with three minutes left before Gunther?s final efforts, and the Russian will still line up on the third row of the grid for race two alongside Hitech team-mate Ralf Aron.

Mazepin outpaced another team-mate Jake Hughes, who will start eighth alongside Harrison Newey, while past Pau winner Jake Dennis had to settle for 10th on the grid alongside fellow Carlin driver Ferdinand Habsburg.

Joey Mawson, who crashed out of race one while on course for his maiden podium, was quickest in group two with seven minutes left but ended up sixth, and therefore 12th on the grid for race two.

The Australian rookie?s second-best time was only 0.004s slower than his best however, so he will line up sixth in the Grand Prix next to Newey.

Aron and Mazepin will share row four, with Habsburg and Hughes on row five.