Renault junior and Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz took pole for Race 1 in the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone after a late improvement.
The British outfit went for a different strategy as all five drivers headed out first to set their initial lap times. It was race winner at Spa-Francorchamps Jehan Daruvala heading Fenestraz after his 1m50.965s lap time when they all pitted.
With others then starting to set their times, Daruvala started to tumble down the order as multiple drivers traded the top spot until Motopark’s Dan Ticktum inserted him in the position with under 10 minutes remaining.
It looked likely that Ticktum will take pole but Fenestraz had other ideas as the Frenchman sprung a 1m50.571s to push himself straight to the top. No one could beat him then as the Renault junior took his second pole of the season for Race 1 on Saturday.
Ticktum (1m50.683s) was then demoted to third after Prema’s Guanyu Zhou also improved to second, only 0.040s behind Fenestraz with a 1m50.611s. Ticktum’s teammate Jonathan Aberdein showed a fine improvement to fourth.
Remarkably, the South African matched with Ticktum’s time at 1m50.683s but was classified fourth as his time came after Ticktum’s. Prema’s Marcus Armstrong (1m50.695s) led teammate Mick Schumacher (1m50.744s) in fifth.
Then came the two HitechGP drivers Alex Palou (1m50.748s) and Enaam Ahmed (1m50.868s) in seventh and eighth respectively, followed by Daruvala who couldn’t improve on his earlier time, with Motopark’s Juri Vips (1m51.021s) completing the Top 10.
An ultra-tight session saw the Top 18 drivers within the pole-sitter’s time amid the 24 entered for this weekend’s race, one more than the previous weekend with HitechGP fielding Charles Leong in the fourth car.
Position 11-24: Fabio Scherer, Robert Shwartzman, Marino Sato, Ben Hingeley, Nikita Troitskiy, Ferdinand Habsburg, Ralf Aron, Sebastian Fernandez, Keyvan Andres, Ameya Vaidyanathan, Artem Petrov, Sophia Floersch, Leong and Petru Florescu.