The Lotus F1 junior secured the seventh and eight poles of his debut season !
In the second qualifying session for the FIA Formula 3 European championship meeting at the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring located not far from Budapest, 17-year-old Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) once again proved to be invincible. The Lotus F1 junior secured the seventh and eight poles of his debut season as he also secured the top position on the time sheets when it came to the second-fastest laps set by the drivers.
Behind him, his team-mate Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) secured the second position in both rankings, the experienced Austrian Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) clinched two third positions and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) finished fourth in both rankings.
Starting grid race two
Around qualifying session half-time, Esteban Ocon (1:36.800 minutes) made his first efforts to secure the top position on the time sheets that was held by Jordan King (Carlin, 1:36.444), at that point in time. And indeed, Ocon succeeded in stealing the Briton’s top position, with his fastest lap time remaining the best until the session was over. Antonio Fuoco (1:36.099 minutes) finished 0.299 seconds behind the pole-sitter to secure second position on the grid for race two. With just two more minutes to go, Lucas Auer (1:36.157 minutes) worked his way up to third while Felix Rosenqvist (1:36.264 minutes) set his fastest lap time even clearly later – with just a few more seconds to go.
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:36.360 minutes) also succeeded in improving his lap time in the closing stages but was defeated by Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:36.279) nevertheless and had to settle for finishing sixth. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:36.389 minutes) and Jordan King will share the fourth row on the grid, followed by Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1:36.473) and Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam, 1:36.617) on row five.
Starting grid race three
At the front end of the field, the starting grid for race three is identical to the one for race 2: Ocon (1:35.827 minutes) on pole, followed by Fuoco (1:36.102), Auer (1:36.216), Rosenqvist (1:36.325) and Verstappen (1:36.400). The sixth-best of the second-fastest lap times – that are crucial for the grid positions for race three of every FIA F3 meeting – was set by Giovinazzi (1:36.451), ahead of Blomqvist (1:36.471), King (1:36.685), Latifi (1:36.687) and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3, 1:36.727).
Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I’m truly delighted with having secured these two poles. We didn’t make a lot of changes on the car, after qualifying session one, and it once again ran really well. At the same time, I also was better – although I temporarily got stuck in the traffic. I have got a fresh set of tyres for the two races to come but I think this won’t make a big difference as the start actually represents the only overtaking opportunity. Now I’m going to try hard to make a better start than the one into race one, tomorrow – and I’m convinced that you won’t see me making another start as poor as that.”