Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m49.369s) turned out to be unbeatable in first qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.381 kilometres long Hungaroring. The German claimed his first pole position of the current season. The runner-up of last year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship demoted rookie driver Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m49.721s) to second. Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m50.224s) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m50.224s), who posted identical lap times, were classified third and fourth respectively, making it drivers from four different teams in the first four places. At a damp track, points’ leader Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m53.254s) had to make do with 17th place.
Maximilian Günther moved up to the top spot at an early stage in qualifying already and was able to extend his lead more and more. While the German never lost his first place until the end of the session and at times had an advantage of almost one second over his closest rival, the battle for the following positions turned out to be much more exciting. Eventually, Australian Joey Mawson prevailed and scored his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship qualifying result to date with second place. Due to the fact that Mawson caused a collision under safety car procedure at the previous race weekend in Pau, he was penalised with a drop of three places on the grid for the next race of the season. Consequently, the three drivers qualified behind him, Jake Hughes, Jehan Daruvala and Callum Ilott, will each move up the grid by one position.
Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m50.279s) was classified sixth from Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m50.290s). The Brit is currently second in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings, tied on points with Joel Eriksson, but next up is pole-sitter Maximilian Günther, only two points down.
Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.310s), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m50.336s) and Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.345s) rounded out the top ten.
Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “At the start of the session, the track was still very wet and at some points, you had to be really careful because of aquaplaning. Then, however, the track dried out and thus, it was clear that the final laps would be the fastest. Generally, the entire qualifying session went almost perfectly for me. As far as I could see it on my pit board, I was on course for pole position all the time. Of course, I am very happy with my first pole position of this year. Admittedly, it took me a bit longer than expected, but we certainly have deserved it. It was a good start of our weekend in Hungary.”