Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing) came out on top in an action-packed second qualifying session of three for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 7.004 kilometers (4.35 miles) long Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Thus, the German secured his maiden pole position in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At a drying track in the Belgian Ardennes, next up were Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing), Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) and points leader Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing). In the ranking of the second-fastest lap times, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race, Zhou came out on top from Armstrong, Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin).
Starting grid race one
Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 2m12.983s) also claimed his first pole position in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
The 19-year-old Indian, who is backed by the Force India Formula 1 team, was 0.010 seconds faster than Armstrong (2m12.993s), the current FIA Formula 3 European Championship points leader. Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 2m13.198s) and Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing, 2m13.351s), who is one point down on Ferrari junior Armstrong in the drivers’ standings, ended up third and fourth in qualifying.
Once the session had started, most drivers initially still remained in their pit boxes. One of the first drivers to compete one lap was Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing, 2m14,203s). The German was still on top with five minutes remaining from his compatriot and rookie driver Julian Hanses (ma-con, 2m14.940s). However, both were unable to hold on to their respective positions. In a thrilling showdown, rookie Armstrong was the first to move up into first place before Daruvala then claimed the top position in the final seconds.
Armstrong eventually had to make do with second place from Palou and Zhou. Aron (2m13.357s), who came to Belgium in third place of the drivers’ standings, secured fifth place. Rookie drivers locked out the second half of the top ten. Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing, 2m13.469s) was classified sixth from Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 2m13.579s), Ben Hingeley (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 2m13.673s), Jüri Vips (Motopark, 2m13.742s) and Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark, 2m13.822s)
Starting grid race two
Qualifying got underway on a wet track that dried out more and more as the 20 minutes’ session went on. As a result, the lap times got considerably faster. With under one minute remaining, Zhou (2m11.367s) was still in first place, but then, Schumacher (2m10.899s) moved up ahead of his Chinese teammate. Behind him, Aron (2m11.179s), Zhou and Armstrong (2m11.585s) followed in second to fourth place. Ahmed (2m11.690s) was classified fifth from Jüri Vips (Motopark, 2m11.760s), Fabio Scherer (Motopark, 2m11.762s), Shvartzman (2m11.800s), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 2m11.869s) and Daniel Ticktum (Motopark, 2m11.923s).
Starting grid race three
In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, nobody was faster than Zhou (2m11.658s). He ended up ahead of Armstrong (2m11.822s), Shwartzman (2m11.967s), Daruvala (2m12.098s), Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark, 2m12.157s), Vips (2m12.161s), Schumacher (2m12.164s), Ticktum (2m12.244s), Ahmed (2m12.274s) and Aron (2m12.315s).