F3 Britain: O'Sullivan takes maiden series pole for home race

Zak O’Sullivan took his first FIA Formula 3 pole position at Silverstone, with the Briton set to start from the front for Sunday’s feature race.

F3 Britain: O'Sullivan takes maiden series pole for home race
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The Carlin driver set a 1m44.597s in his best qualifying so far this season in front of his home crowd, having previously had a best start of eighth.

He sat tenth place in the first half of the session, but on the final runs took pole by 0.03s from Prema Racing’s Arthur Leclerc, while Zane Maloney will line up third for Trident, just 0.014s behind Leclerc.

Team boss Trevor Carlin told Motorsport.com earlier this week that the team had found a breakthrough after struggling in the series for several seasons, which paid off for O’Sullivan who was named Autosport’s BRDC Young Driver of the Year for 2021.

With the track having dried significantly since a damp Formula 1 free practice one session earlier in the day, Ollie Bearman was first to set a flying lap for Prema, with a 1m45.107s putting him 0.2s ahead of Kush Maini in second.

The MP Motorsport driver, who also topped practice earlier on Friday, then improved onto a 1m44.963s before Bearman briefly reclaimed the top spot, but had his time deleted for track limits.

Leclerc put himself into third with a 1m45.221s before the times tumbled as Maloney and Jonny Edgar, having returned this weekend after a period away from racing following a diagnosis with Crohn’s Disease, knocked him into fifth.

The field pitted around the halfway mark, with just one second separating the top 15 as Maini led from Bearman and Maloney.

As they returned to the circuit, the lead quickly changed hands, with Caio Collet briefly heading the standings for MP Motorsport before O’Sullivan took the top spot.

Collet will start fourth for Sunday’s race, with Prema’s Jak Crawford and Bearman rounding off the top six, marking a change in the qualifying fortunes of the Italian outfit so far this year.

Roman Stanek, who sits second in the championship, will start eighth, while frontrunner Victor Martins starts 11th for ART Grand Prix.

Despite his early pace, Maini will line up tenth, putting him on reverse-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race, while Isack Hadjar starts second for Hitech.

Edgar also struggled to improve in the second half of the session, and will start 14th.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Carlin 12 1'44.597  
2 Monaco Arthur Leclerc Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'44.624 0.027
3 Barbados Zane Maloney Italy Trident 12 1'44.638 0.041
4 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'44.783 0.186
5 Jak Crawford Italy Prema Powerteam 12 1'44.805 0.208
6 Oliver Bearman Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'44.863 0.266
7 United States Kaylen Frederick United Kingdom HitechGP 12 1'44.876 0.279
8 Czech Republic Roman Staněk Italy Trident 12 1'44.920 0.323
9 Isack Hadjar United Kingdom HitechGP 12 1'44.922 0.325
10 India Kush Maini Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'44.930 0.333
11 France Victor Martins France ART Grand Prix 13 1'44.958 0.361
12 Reece Ushijima Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 11 1'45.012 0.415
13 Spain David Vidales Spain Campos Racing 11 1'45.028 0.431
14 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar Italy Trident 13 1'45.048 0.451
15 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 13 1'45.203 0.606
16 United States Juan Manuel Correa France ART Grand Prix 13 1'45.240 0.643
17 Argentina Franco Colapinto Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 11 1'45.300 0.703
18 Hunter Yeany Spain Campos Racing 13 1'45.568 0.971
19 Italy Francesco Pizzi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 11 1'45.576 0.979
20 Israel Ido Cohen Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'45.718 1.121
21 Finland William Alatalo Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'45.810 1.213
22 Malaysia Nazim Azman United Kingdom HitechGP 12 1'45.815 1.218
23 Brad Benavides Carlin 12 1'45.855 1.258
24 Italy Federico Malvestiti Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 11 1'45.919 1.322
25 Mexico Rafael Villagomez Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 11 1'45.934 1.337
26 Italy Enzo Trulli Carlin 11 1'45.988 1.391
27 Filip Ugran Netherlands MP Motorsport 13 1'46.051 1.454
28 Zdenek Chovanec Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 11 1'47.713 3.116
29 Hungary László Tóth Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 13 1'48.038 3.441
30 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 12 2'09.684 25.087
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