Campos Racing’s Leonardo Pulcini secured pole position for the GP3 season-opener at Barcelona, edging out ART Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin by 0.057 seconds.
For the majority of the session, provisional?pole position was exchanged between the ART pairing of Mazepin and Anthoine Hubert. Following the opening runs, Mazepin led his team-mate by 0.071s. Pulcini was ninth in the order.
During the final attempts, Hubert and Mazepin both significantly improved their personal bests. The latter held provisional pole before Pulcini set a session-best time in sector two, holding the advantage in sector three and stealing top spot.
Pulcini’s first GP3 pole ends ART’s streak of consecutive pole positions dating back to the opening round of the 2016 season. Mazepin remained second and Hubert stayed third at the chequered flag.
Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott was fourth to ensure three ART’s will start within the first two rows.
Niko Kari qualified fifth, despite having been 14th on the timesheet following the opening runs of the session. His opening run?was hampered by oversteer, with one lap ruined by a slide and trip across the kerbs at Turn 13. Kari’s MP Motorsport team-mate Dorian Boccolacci will line up sixth.
GP3 rookies Simo Laaksonen and David Beckmann qualified seventh and eighth, ahead of Trident pairing Alessio Lorandi and Giuliano Alesi.
Lorandi struggled for pace throughout the session, with ninth being the highest position he reached on the timesheet during the 30-minutes of qualifying. Conversely, Alesi was provisionally third before the final runs but failed to improve in the closing stages.
Despite finishing fastest in practice, Jake Hughes qualified 11th. The GP3 returnee gained less than 0.1s in qualifying versus his benchmark time in practice and ended up nearly half a second behind his ART team-mates.
Less than one second covered the top 18 cars, with just Ryan Tveter and Will Palmer cut adrift of the field in 19th and 20th.
|1||Leonardo Pulcini||Campos Racing||1m32.258s|
|2||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||+0.057s|
|3||Anthoine Hubert||ART Grand Prix||+0.147s|
|4||Callum Ilott||ART Grand Prix||+0.292s|
|5||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||+0.332s|
|6||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||+0.348s|
|7||Simo Laaksonen||Campos Racing||+0.516s|
|8||David Beckmann||Jenzer Motorsport||+0.538s|
|11||Jake Hughes||ART Grand Prix||+0.597s|
|12||Juan Manuel Correa||Jenzer Motorsport||+0.636s|
|14||Tatiana Calderon||Jenzer Motorsport||+0.697s|
|15||Julien Falchero||Arden International||+0.841s|
|16||Diego Menchaca||Campos Racing||+0.877s|
|17||Joey Mawson||Arden International||+0.910s|
|18||Gabriel Aubry||Arden International||+0.994s|
|20||Will Palmer||MP Motorsport||+1.452s|