Nobody was faster than Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) in second qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit. With Callum Ilott (Prema Powertam) and points’ leader Lando Norris, two of his compatriots followed the Brit in second and third place. Hughes’s team-mate Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix) ended up fourth in the rain ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) and Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix). In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of the weekend, Ilott came out on top from Norris, Hughes, Aron, Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and Habsburg.
Starting grid race two
Jake Hughes (1m37.002s) quickly found his way at the rain-soaked Nürburgring and was already on top after a few minutes. Whenever he was toppled from first place during the session, he always found the right answer and was able to move back up into the lead every time. That also was the case when Callum Ilott (1m37.312s) progressed from 19th to first place in the final minute. A little bit later, Jake Hughes managed to post an even better lap time so that he claimed back first place. Behind Hughes and Ilott, Lando Norris (1m37.445s), who previously had claimed seven consecutive fastest qualifying times in a row, had to make do with third. Tadasuke Makino (1m37.502s), Ferdinand Habsburg (1m37.539s), Ralf Aron (1m37.710s), Guanyu Zhou (1m37.735s), Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m37.777s), newcomer Max Defourny (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m37.805s) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m38.060s) rounded out the top ten.
Starting grid race three
As usual, the second-fastest lap time of every driver was used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of the weekend. First place in the ranking went to Callum Ilott (1m37.386s) from Lando Norris (1m37.548s), Jake Hughes (1m37.577s), Ralf Aron (1m37.744s), Guanyu Zhou (1m38.038s), Ferdinand Habsburg (1m38.069s), Tadasuke Makino (1m38.114s), Joey Mawson (1m38.219s), Max Defourny (1m38.298s) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m38.330s).
Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix): “It was a great qualifying, even if I perhaps only had three or four really clear laps. Initially, I was stuck behind Joel Eriksson, but I was unable to overtake him. When I then had some space in front of me, I immediately racked up three fast sector times that brought me to the top of the time sheets. I reckon that the clear track was the key to success. Thus, visibility was also better than when I was in the spray from the driver in front all the time.”
Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy with my result, even though qualifying didn’t start well for me. Conditions in the rain weren’t particularly easy and in the early stages, we even had aquaplaning, especially on the back straight. At that time, it was rather difficult for me, but when the weather slightly improved, it went considerably better. As a result, I also posted my fastest lap times towards the end of the session.”