Home Featured Marcus Armstrong claims first European F3 pole at wet Norisring

Marcus Armstrong claims first European F3 pole at wet Norisring

by Peter Allen


Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong netted his first Formula 3 European Championship pole position in a wet first qualifying session at the Norisring.

With the field split into two on the short Nuremberg street circuit, Armstrong ran in the second group, where times lowered rapidly as the track dried.

Mick Schumacher was the first driver beneath Dan Ticktum’s benchmark in the first session of 54.553 seconds with 12 minutes of the second segment still to go.

For a while, top spot was fought out between Schumacher and Guan Yu Zhou before their Prema team-mate Armstrong knocked the German off top spot with two minutes to go.

Jehan Daruvala threatened to spoil the party for Carlin, but Armstrong was able to respond inside the final minute with a 52.558s lap, which he then improved to a 52.529s before the chequered flag.

Daruvala ended up 0.095s away in second in the group as he secured third on the grid at the scene of his maiden F3 win 12 months ago.

Ralf Aron will be fourth after coming second in the first group, having set a series of fastest laps in the middle of the 20 minutes.

When he pitted, Ticktum took over at the top and was only briefly displaced by Motopark team-mate Jonathan Aberdein before he gradually shaved half a second off his time over the final five minutes.

Aberdein wasn’t one of the drivers who starred in Motopark’s domination of the earlier dry practice running but did shine in the wet to take sixth on the grid alongside Schumacher.

Nikita Troitskiy was also an unexpected star for Carlin, grabbing fourth in the second group (and seventh on the grid) thanks to a fastest-of-all time in sector two, where he had been frequently quick throughout.

His late effort put him ahead of team-mates Ferdinand Habsburg and Sacha Fenestraz, with the latter having a surprisingly muted session in the rain after appearing to have mastered another street circuit in practice.

He did manage to beat Zhou, who fell to seventh in the end to put him 13th on the grid, next to the only man ahead of him in the standings, Enaam?Ahmed, who couldn’t repeat of his heroics in the wet qualifying session on the streets of Pau.

Troitskiy and Habsburg are joined on rows four and five of the grid by Juri Vips and Robert Shwartzman respectively, with Fabio Scherer taking 12th next to Fenestraz.