Joel Eriksson, driving for the Motopark with VEB snatched pole position from Carlin’s Lando Norris for the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 World Cup during a red-flag hit final qualifying session.
The Swede made the most of a switch to new tires just past the halfway point, following a stoppage caused by Eriksson’s teammate Sergio Sette Camara crashing, to grab the top spot by just 0.024 seconds during a tight head-to-head battle with his European F3 rival.
Provisional pole man Norris had initially laid down the gauntlet with a lap of 2m10.744s with 17 minutes remaining. But five minutes later, Eriksson bettered it and Norris, who said his quickest lap had been scrappy, was unable to respond with the best having been taken from his tires.
Eriksson was delighted with the achievement, and admitted that he had put everything on the line to deliver the lap.
“It was on the limit,” he said. “It was a really, really good lap for me. We put on four new tires after the red flag. I had no other cars around me and it was really good – a really spot on lap.”
Shortly after the pole battle was decided, another red flag came out when China’s Zhou Guanyu of SJM Theodore Racing by Prema crashed out spectacularly, and the restart delivered a single-lap shootout for a number of front-runners on new rubber.
Zhou’s teammate Callum Ilott duly timed his run perfectly to secure third place – just 0.09s behind Eriksson – moments before a final red flag came out after Yuhi Sekiguchi of B-Max Racing Team crashed at the final corner.
Maximilian Gunther ended up fourth quickest, ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg, Daniel Ticktum and Mick Schumacher.
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