Trident’s Zane Maloney took his maiden FIA Formula 3 pole at Imola amid a delay, a red flag and timing confusion in qualifying.
The 30-minute session was delayed due to schedule changes, and conditions improved after qualifying began on a wet track.
Isack Hadjar and Victor Martins set the pace early on, and Arthur Leclerc, who completed just one timed lap in practice, then went to the top before a stagnation in improvements across the board.
With 10 minutes to go, Carlin’s Enzo Trulli was the sole driver to attempt to run with slick tyres, but his sector times were several seconds off the pace.
With only a small number of wet tyres available, drivers did not appear to push too hard on their sets. Despite that, more running was completed than in free practice.
Coming towards the end of qualifying, Trident’s Roman Stanek took the top spot, overhauling Martins.
There was a red flag with five minutes to go as Leclerc clashed with Trulli at Rivazza, sending the former firmly into the gravel.
The delay meant that when the clock restarted for the final minutes, laptimes rapidly improved.
Rookie Maloney came out on top, with Stanek second and Prema’s Jak Crawford a personal-best third ahead of ART’s Gregoire Saucy, Prema’s Ollie Bearman and Martins.
However, there is lingering confusion over Martins’ time as it appeared that the chequered flag was shown early. Nonetheless, he carried on and improved his time after being in the lower positions beforehand.
Hadjar was seventh ahead of Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan, with MP Motorsport’s Caio Collet and Kush Maini rounding the top 10.
Carlin’s Ido Cohen was 11th and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Franco Colapinto provisionally takes reverse grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race in 12th, although Hitech’s Kaylen Frederick could inherit that spot should Martins’ lap be deleted.
Leclerc dropped back to 21st with Trulli in 28th after not returning to the track after the collision.
Of the series’ returnees, Trident’s Oliver Rasmussen was top in 14th, while Federico Malvestiti was 25th. After not completing a lap in practice, Charouz Racing System’s David Schumacher was 29th and last with Juan Manuel Correa’s unsubstituted absence.
|4||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m41.297s||+0.117s||12|
|6||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m41.945s||+0.765s||13|
|7||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m41.971s||+0.791s||12|
|9||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||1m42.169s||+0.989s||11|
|10||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||1m42.301s||+1.121s||11|
|11||Ido Cohen||Jenzer Motorsport||1m42.508s||+1.328s||11|
|12||Franco Colapinto||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m42.620s||+1.440s||11|
|13||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||1m42.645s||+1.465s||12|
|15||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||1m42.840s||+1.660s||11|
|16||Hunter Yeany||Campos Racing||1m43.130s||+1.950s||13|
|17||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||1m43.184s||+2.004s||13|
|18||William Alatalo||Jenzer Motorsport||1m43.323s||+2.143s||13|
|19||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz Racing System||1m43.335s||+2.155s||12|
|20||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m43.409s||+2.229s||11|
|22||Reece Ushijima||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m43.715s||+2.535s||11|
|24||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m44.273s||+3.093s||12|
|25||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer Motorsport||1m44.394s||+3.214s||12|
|26||Laszlo Toth||Charouz Racing System||1m44.427s||+3.247s||12|
|27||David Vidales||Campos Racing||1m44.471s||+3.291s||13|
|29||David Schumacher||Charouz Racing System||1m46.431s||+5.251s||11|