Once again in bright sunshine, the young drivers from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship decided the starting grid positions for the fifth and sixth race of the season at the 5.793 kilometres long Monza Grand Prix circuit. Joel Eriksson (Motopark) was fastest in second qualifying, ahead of Lando Norris (Carlin). Both young talents are currently tied on points in the lead of the drivers’ standings. With third place ahead of Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) scored his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship qualifying result to date. In the ranking of the second-fastest lap times, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of a weekend, the order in front was Eriksson from Norris, Ilott and Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam).
Starting grid race two
In the opening minutes of qualifying, the young drivers still remained in the pit lane. Mick Schumacher (1m43.824s) was the first driver to head out on track. Behind him, nearly all drivers got their qualifying underway as well. Halfway through the session, Callum Ilott (1m43.846s) ranked in first place, but he wasn’t able to hold on to this position until the end. With his final fast lap, Mick Schumacher was the next driver to move up into first place, only to surrender it to Lando Norris (1m43.786s) just a few seconds later. The McLaren junior driver, who had already won the first FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at Monza, was also unable to secure the leading position for good, because Joel Eriksson (1m43.720s) posted an even faster lap time than the Carlin driver at the track in Monza’s royal park. Thus, Eriksson ended up fastest from Norris and Schumacher.
Also with his final attempt, Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1m43.993s) still moved up into fifth place behind Ilott. Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1m44.002s), Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m44.065s), Guanyu Zhou (1m44.095s), Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m44.101s) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m44.102s) rounded out the top ten.
Starting grid race three
In the ranking of the second-fastest lap times, Joel Eriksson (1m43.790s) also came out on top and thus also claimed pole position for the third race of the weekend. Lando Norris (1m43.859s), Callum Ilott (1m43.967s), Guanyu Zhou (1m44.109s), Ferdinand Habsburg (1m44.156s), Maximilian Günther (1m44.186s), Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m44.204s), Jehan Daruvala (1m44.214s), Nikita Mazepin (1m44.266s) and Jake Dennis (1m44.293s) rounded out the top ten.
Due to inconsistencies in the reporting of track limit infringements, the FIA Stewards of the Meeting carried out further investigations and decided not to take these reports into account for this session. The issues have been addressed and measures have been taken to prevent any such inconsistencies for tomorrow’s two races.
Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “From my point of view, it was a very good qualifying. Initially, however, it was slightly chaotic. Approximately ten drivers exited the pit lane almost at the same time, because everyone hoped for a slipstream like that. Finding a good position in that group with enough space to the front and to the rear wasn’t easy. I think I did fairly well and I am also happy with my driving performance, even though I made a slight error in the second sector during my fastest lap. However, I also had a really good slipstream that, of course, helped me as well. I am very happy with the fact that it was enough to come out on top.”