Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam, 1:32.455 minutes) claimed pole position for the fourth race of the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Swede was 0.014 seconds faster than points’ leader Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:32.469 minutes) from Italy. Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:32.609 minutes) was the best-placed German and the fastest rookie driver in third place, followed by Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:32.845 minutes).

In the opening stages of qualifying, Frenchman Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam, 1:32.997 minutes) moved up into first place, but had to hand this position to Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam, 1:32.960 minutes) only two minutes after. Later on, the 35 young drivers were able to improve their lap times, but initially, nobody managed to challenge Briton Dennis in the battle for first place. Towards the halfway point, his compatriot Callum Ilott (Carlin, 1:33.102 minutes) came closest. A spin by Alexander Albon (Signature, 1:41.693 minutes) caused a brief interruption.

Once qualifying had resumed, the youngsters staged a thrilling battle for the top positions. A little bit less than seven minutes before the end, Maximilian Günther was the first who completed his lap of the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg faster than erstwhile leader Dennis. Günther successfully turned down a challenge for first place by South-African Raoul Hyman (Team West-Tec F3, 1:33.037 minutes) and claimed back first place. However, the German rookie was unable to defend his position from the next attacks by Felix Rosenqvist. Giovinazzi also outpaced Günther, who eventually was classified third, followed by Silverstone race winner Charles Leclerc.

Two minutes before the scheduled end of the session, Tatiana Calderón (Carlin, 1:34.170 minutes) brought the red flags out once more as she came off the track. The session wasn’t restarted. Canadian Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam, 1:32.916 minutes) eventually claimed fifth place on the grid from Dennis, Maïsano, Hyman, Markus Pommer (Motopark, 1:33.133 minutes) and Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark, 1:33.158 minutes). Callum Ilott, who initially qualified ninth, has been penalised with a drop of ten grid positions for leaving the pit lane under red light.

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “I waited relatively long before going out onto the track, but then the red flag interrupted my effort. After the restart, we waited again before I mainly focussed on finding a clear lap. That wasn’t easy and I just had one lap without traffic. I managed to complete that one without any mistakes and that was enough to secure pole position. Certainly, waiting was a risk, but it worked out nicely for us. In such a huge field like this, the clear lap undoubtedly was the key to secure first place on the grid.”