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Maloney takes first F3 pole in Trident 1-2 at Imola

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

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.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Zane Maloney Trident 1m41.180s 13
2 Roman Stanek Trident 1m41.287s +0.107s 12
3 Jak Crawford Prema 1m41.296s +0.116s 12
4 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 1m41.297s +0.117s 12
5 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m41.589s +0.409s 12
6 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m41.945s +0.765s 13
7 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m41.971s +0.791s 12
8 Zak O’Sullivan Carlin 1m42.005s +0.825s 11
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
14 Oliver Rasmuseen Trident 1m42.729s +1.549s 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
21 Arthur Leclerc Prema 1m43.619s +2.439s 9
22 Reece Ushijima Van Amersfoort Racing 1m43.715s +2.535s 11
23 Brad Benavides Carlin 1m44.083s +2.903s 12
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
28 Enzo Trulli Carlin 1m45.550s +4.370s 10
29 David Schumacher Charouz Racing System 1m46.431s +5.251s 11