Felix Rosenqvist grabbed provisional pole position for the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on Thursday, after dominating the first qualifying session.
The Prema driver moved to the top of the timesheets early on and, despite strong challenges from Carlin duo Callum Ilott and Antonio Giovinazzi, he was able to keep his spot at the top throughout.
After Rosenqvist ended the first runs just 0.088 seconds clear of Giovinazzi, he elected not to use new tyres as many of his rivals switched to fresher rubber for the second half of the session.
Rosenqvist showed his confidence, however, by extending his advantage – before Ilott (who also did not use new tyres) showed his morning crash had not affected his confidence to grab second place.
The Carlin driver pipped Giovinazzi, who stopped a few minutes from the end of the session after feeling his brake pedal was getting long, in the closing minutes to get within 0.084 seconds of Rosenqvist.
But on the final lap of the session, with the track clearly at its best, Rosenqvist went quickest again to end the day 0.822s clear of the rest of the field.
“I'm pretty happy with that, “ said Rosenqvist, who won Macau last year. “I think I've made a step forward in my driving this year and I think I've found the key to a good lap around here. The pace is looking good.”
Sam MacLeod ended up fourth quickest for Team West-Tec, while Daniel Juncadella recovered from the gearbox problems that left him stranded in the pits in morning practice to claim fifth spot.
First qualifying results:
|1||Felix Rosenqvist||Theodore Racing by Prema||2'11.841|
|7||Yuhi Sekiguchi||B-Max Engineering||2'13.744||1.903|
|10||Alexander Sims||Double R||2'13.950||2.109|
|11||Charles Leclerc||Van Amersfoort||2'14.099||2.258|
|13||Lance Stroll||Theodore Racing by Prema||2'14.244||2.403|
|15||Alessio Lorandi||Van Amersfoort||2'14.314||2.473|
|16||Jake Dennis||Theodore Racing by Prema||2'14.332||2.491|
|22||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark||2'15.206||3.365|
|25||Mitsunori Takaboshi||B-Max Engineering||2'16.249||4.408|
|26||Matt Solomon||Double R||2'16.766||4.925|
|27||Zhi Cong Li||Jo Zeller Racing||2'18.800||6.959|