The Prema Powerteam drivers dominated the first qualifying session in Round 4 of the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship at Zandvoort as Guanyu Zhou took his first pole of the season.
The Chinese driver leaped at the top towards the end of the session with a 1m28.861s laptime – the only driver into the 1m28s bracket as he led a Prema 1-2-3-4-7 in Qualifying 1 for Race 1 of the Zandvoort weekend.
It is the Ferrari junior’s first pole in 2018 as he led another experienced European F3 campaigner Ralf Aron by 0.143s. The Prema Top 4 was completed by Mick Schumacher (1m29.075s) in third and Marcus Armstrong (1m29.123s) in fourth.
The first non-Prema car was Motopark’s Dan Ticktum (1m29.178s) in fifth ahead of teammate Jonathan Aberdein (1m29.334s) with the fifth Prema of Robert Shwartzman (1m29.382s) in seventh.
The first HitechGP of Alex Palou (1m29.407s) was eighth ahead of Motopark’s Juri Vips (1m29.473s) and the second HitechGP of Ben Hingeley (1m29.483s) in the Top 10. The Carlin drivers faced a tough time with set-up in the qualifying.
Their best was Nikita Troistkiy in 12th leading Jehan Daruvala and Ferdinand Habsburg with the best Van Amersfoort Racing’s car of Artem Petrov was 15th. On her debut weekend, Sophia Floersch qualified 23rd beating Fortec’s Petruc Florescu.
Meanwhile, Carlin’s Ameya Vaidyanathan is seemingly also cleared of the FIA assessment after his startling clash with Ticktum at Norisring. Following the weekend, it was stated that the FIA will assess the Indian driver’s capability to race in F3.
Positions 11-24: Fabio Scherer, Troitskiy, Daruvala, Habsburg, Petrov, Sebastian Fernandez, Marino Sato, Sacha Fenestraz, Keyvan Andres, Vaidyanathan, Julian Hanses, Enaam Ahmed, Floersch and Florescu.