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F3: Mansell leads the way in qualifying for first pole position

Written by Sean McKean

Credit - FIA Formula 3

For the 100th Formula 3 race on Sunday, Christian Mansell took pole position for it in an incredibly close qualifying. It’s the Australian’s first pole position in FIA F3 – his last coming in a partial FROC campaign in February.

As it unfolded

After five minutes of pacing, the first run began. Dino Beganovic led the way but ended up 15th by the time the run concluded – partly due to a moment he had over a kerb. 

Instead, Laurens van Hoepen took the number-one spot ahead of Leonardo Fornaroli. Van Hoepen’s ART teammates – Christian Mansell and Nikola Tsolov – slotted into third and sixth respectively, showing the strong pace ART seem to have this weekend.

Ten minutes later the second run began. Luke Browning took over the top spot with a great time of 1:28.888. However, as others crossed the line, it proved the session would be close, as the top five were separated by less than a tenth of a second. Furthermore, the top 20 were all separated by only half a second.

The second run ended with Browning on provisional pole, home-driver Mari Boya in second, Mansell in third, Oliver Goethe in fourth, and Gabriele Minì in fifth. Notably, Beganovic dwindled in 29th after getting his time deleted, which will greatly hinder a potential title challenge.

Pressure was on for the third run with four minutes to go, and ART delivered. Despite great benchmark times set by Luke Browning and Arvid Lindblad, it was Christian Mansell that took pole position.

The top four were all separated by less than five-hundredths. Lindblad slotted into second, Mansell’s teammate Nikola Tsolov qualified third, Browning took fourth, and Oliver Goethe rounded out the top five.

Post-qualifying, Joseph Loake and Martinius Stenshorne will be investigating for unsafe releases.

Top 12 Classification:

  1. Christian Mansell (ART Grand Prix)

  2. Arvid Lindblad (Prema Racing)

  3. Nikola Tsolov (ART Grand Prix)

  4. Luke Browning (Hitech GP)

  5. Oliver Goethe (Campos Racing)

  6. Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident)

  7. Martinius Stenshorne (Hitech GP)

  8. Laurens van Hoepen (ART Grand Prix)

  9. Alex Dunne (MP Motorsport)

  10. Sebastian Montoya (Campos Racing)

  11. Mari Boya (Campos Racing)

  12. Sami Meguetounif (Trident)


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