The new FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) turned out to be unbeatable in the final FIA Formula 3 European Championship qualifying of the year 2016. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, newcomer Jake Hughes (Carlin) posted the second-fastest lap time, which brought the Brit second place for his first race weekend in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Joel Eriksson (Motopark) and Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) were classified third and fourth. In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of the weekend, Eriksson secured first place from Hughes, Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) and debutant Lando Norris (Carlin).
Starting grid race two
Lance Stroll (1m31.733s) having inherited pole position for the first race of the final weekend after the car of his rival David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1m32.132s) was found to be not in compliance with the regulations, claimed first place in second qualifying on track. The Canadian moved up to the top of the standings in the final stages. Jake Hughes (1m31.912s) ended up in second place and thus ensured a successful comeback for British team Carlin after being absent at the previous two meetings. With third place, Joel Eriksson (1m31.968s) got himself a good position in the battle for the rookie title. Sérgio Sette Câmara (1m32.041s), Callum Ilott (1m32.050s), Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam, 1m32.090s), George Russell (HitechGP, 1m32.092s), David Beckmann, Lando Norris (1m32.144s) and Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam, 1m32.152s) rounded out the top ten.
Starting grid race three
In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, rookie driver Joel Eriksson (1m32.057s) did even better: the Swede was classified in first place. The Motopark driver currently is leading the rookie standings and accordingly is the favourite in the battle for the rookie title. Jake Hughes (1m32.071s) confirmed his good performance with another second place from Callum Ilott (1m32.081s) and Lando Norris (1m32.149s), who, like his team-mate Hughes, is making his FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut at Hockenheim. FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lance Stroll (1m32.180s), Sérgio Sette Câmara (1m32.181s), George Russell (1m32.197s), Nick Cassidy (1m32.251s), Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m32.278s) and Formula 3 returnee Alexander Sims (HitechGP, 1m32.418s) followed in fifth to tenth place.
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): ”Once again, this was a good qualifying. My fastest lap was good, but my second-fastest lap wasn’t quite as good, because I was blocked and didn’t have a clear run. Eventually, I had a clear lap again, but at that time, the tyres weren’t at their peak anymore. As I already have sealed the title, I want to have fun this weekend and attack.”
Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “I think that my fastest lap was quite okay. I even did two laps in a row that were at an equal level. I also had a little bit of luck that I almost had a clean run on these two laps, so I was out there on my own and could drive the laps like I wanted to.”