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F3: Fornaroli beats out Premas to pole position in Melbourne

Written by Sean McKean

Image Credit - Trident

The second qualifying of the season saw little separation amongst the whole field, but it was Trident and Leonardo Fornaroli who beat out the rest. This was Trident’s first pole position of the season and Fornaroli’s second of his F3 career.

Prior to the session, a decision regarding an incident between ART’s Nikola Tsolov and MP’s Alex Dunne – where it appeared as if Tsolov swerved into the Irishman and put him in the wall – was made. The stewards decided that the Bulgarian would receive a three-place grid drop as well as two penalty points for his role in the incident.

The session was relatively uneventful for the first run. Aside from Trident’s Santiago Ramos spinning into the gravel on his first run in turn three, his teammate Leonardo Fornaroli and Prema’s Gabriele Minì established themselves as the cars to beat right out the gates. 

Even though the second run looked to be more of the same, the tides of the session switched when Trident’s Sami Meguetounif had a shunt at turn 13. Not only did this bring massive damage to the Frenchman’s car, but this incident also brought out a red flag with only four and a half minutes left on the clock.

The final runs began with two minutes left on the clock, and in typical FIA F3 fashion, it was a lot to keep up with. Even with Rodin’s Joseph Loake tapping the turn 13 barrier, he kept going, which meant the session could end under the chequered flag. With everyone moving up the order left and right, it was Fornaroli who put it on pole position – the second of his F3 career.

The Italian was followed by another Italian, Gabriele Minì in second. Rounding out the top three was Minì’s Prema teammate Dino Beganovic. Impressively, PHM’s Nikita Bedrin stunned by putting his car in fourth – the best qualifying of his F3 career. Rounding out the top five was championship leader Luke Browning.

Despite the chaos that comes with 30-car qualifying sessions, only one incident was noted by the stewards, that being an impediment incident between Jenzer’s Max Esterson and VAR’s Sophia Floersch.

To catch the first race of the F3 weekend, tune into the sprint race at 11:00 local (00:15 BST).


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