Formula 3 European Championship leader Lance Stroll took pole position for the first race of the Norisring round with a late effort that put him well clear of the field.
Callum Ilott, Stroll’s closest title challenger, was looking good with two very closely matched laps that at the time were both a fraction quicker than anyone else could manage. But in the final moments Williams Formula 1 team protege Stroll unleashed a mighty effort that put his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes 0.192 seconds clear of Ilott, and was founded upon a purple time in the first sector, which features the high-speed start-finish straight.
Ilott’s time was good enough for second, leading five other drivers blanketed by just 0.043s, but he will face three 10-place grid penalties for an engine change. That is because engine failure put the Van Amersfoort Racing driver on the sidelines for the majority of the 80 minutes of free practice, having completed only nine laps, and the team had to fit a new motor in time for qualifying.
Motopark rookie Joel Eriksson, the Swede celebrating his announcement as a member of the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme this morning (he will also act as a BMW DTM ‘taxi’ driver this weekend), will therefore be promoted to the front row.
Eriksson’s teammate, Ferrari protege Guan Yu Zhou, will line up third, and shares the second row with Prema’s Nick Cassidy.
George Russell led the Hitech Grand Prix charge and will start fifth, just ahead of Motopark’s brace of Red Bull Juniors – Niko Kari (the Finn having topped free practice on his first visit to the Nuremberg street circuit) and Sergio Sette Camara.
Norisring 2015 winner Maximilian Gunther (Prema) is eighth, with Mucke Motorsport’s promising 16-year-old season latecomer David Beckmann next.
On his return to F3, Will Buller topped the Carlin runners and rounds out the top 10 on the grid.
|1||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||48.148ss||48.148s|
|2||Callum Ilott||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||48.340ss||0.192s|
|4||Guan Yu Zhou||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||48.368ss||0.220s|
|5||Nick Cassidy||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||48.375ss||0.227s|
|8||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||48.453ss||0.305s|
|9||Maximilian Gunther||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||48.476ss||0.328s|
|10||David Beckmann||kfzteile Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||48.512ss||0.364s|
|12||Mikkel Jensen||kfzteile Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||48.571ss||0.423s|
|13||Anthoine Hubert||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||48.642ss||0.494s|
|15||Ralf Aron||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||48.724ss||0.576s|
|17||Pedro Piquet||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||48.790ss||0.642s|
|18||Harrison Newey||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||48.802ss||0.654s|