Home Featured Mini claims pole position in debut F3 qualifying in Bahrain

Mini claims pole position in debut F3 qualifying in Bahrain

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Gabriele Mini has taken pole position on his Formula 3 debut in Bahrain, with the new Alpine junior to head an all-rookie front row for the first feature race of the season.

Last year’s Formula Regional Europe runner-up has been rapid since stepping up to F3 in testing at the end of last year and the Hitech GP driver was frequently at the top of the times during the session.

Most did just one flying lap at the start of the session before pitting, with Gabriel Bortoleto quickest ahead of Mini before he became one of many drivers to have a laptime deleted for exceeding track limits.

Caio Collet was fastest for Van Amersfoort Racing heading into the final 10 minutes before Hitech’s trio of rookies took advantage of a clear track, Mini returning to top spot ahead of Sebastian Montoya with Luke Browning in fourth.

Mini found a further improvement on his final attempt with just over three minutes to go, and his time of 1m47.055s would not be beaten as he returned to the pits.

Another FRegional graduate to confirm some very impressive pace so far in F3 machinery, Bortoleto would get within 0.057s right at the finish for Trident.

His team-mate Oliver Goethe was another late improver in his third F3 qualifying session to take fourth behind ART’s returning Gregoire Saucy, with Trident’s third rookie Leonardo Fornaroli popping up in seventh at the flag.

Formula 4 graduate Hugh Barter was an impressive fifth for Campos, demoting another ART veteran Kaylen Frederick to sixth.

The Prema trio propped up the top 10. Zak O’Sullivan was up on Mini’s pole time going into the final sector but crossed the line only fourth, then found his time beaten by rookie team-mates Dino Beganovic and Paul Aron. After the session, O’Sullivan’s time was deleted, leaving him 18th.

Beganovic was one of four drivers without a proper time to their name prior to the final laps after track limits abuse.

Pepe Marti had a fastest time mid-session but ran wide at Turn 4 and ended up 11th for Campos, separating off-season team-swappers Collet and Franco Colapinto, last year’s pole-sitter securing reversed-grid pole for the sprint race, while Spanish F4 champion Nikola Tsolov would have to settle for 16th. Taylor Barnard’s final lap also got him into the mid-pack but that wouldn’t stand either, meaning he will need permission to start the races from the back of the grid.

Qualifying result
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m47.055s 11
2 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 1m47.112s +0.057s 12
3 Gregoire Saucy ART GP 1m47.166s +0.111s 10
4 Oliver Goethe Trident 1m47.190s +0.135s 12
5 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 1m47.274s +0.219s 12
6 Kaylen Frederick ART GP 1m47.283s +0.228s 11
7 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m47.290s +0.235s 12
8 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m47.320s +0.265s 11
9 Paul Aron Prema 1m47.322s +0.267s 11
10 Caio Collet VAR 1m47.371s +0.316s 12
11 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m47.391s +0.336s 12
12 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m47.398s +0.343s 12
13 Christian Mansell Campos Racing 1m47.451s +0.396s 12
14 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m47.476s +0.421s 12
15 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport 1m47.535s +0.480s 12
16 Nikola Tsolov ART GP 1m47.593s +0.538s 10
17 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m47.694s +0.639s 12
18 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 1m47.717s +0.662s 11
19 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 1m47.885s +0.830s 12
20 Rafael Villagomez VAR 1m47.950s +0.895s 13
21 Ollie Gray Carlin 1m48.200s +1.145s 12
22 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport 1m48.203s +1.148s 12
23 Piotr Wisnicki PHM by Charouz 1m48.515s +1.460s 11
24 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz 1m48.659s +1.579s 11
25 Ido Cohen Carlin 1m48.665s +1.604s 12
26 Hunter Yeany Carlin 1m48.685s +1.630s 12
27 Tommy Smith VAR 1m48.687s +1.632s 11
28 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 1m49.184s +2.129s 11
29 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz 1m49.465s +2.410s 11
30 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport 2m01.193s +14.138s 11