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Abu Dhabi GP3: Russell follows F1 run with pole position

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Abu Dhabi GP3: Russell follows F1 run with pole position
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Nov 24, 2017, 12:04 PM

Newly-crowned GP3 champion George Russell claimed pole position in Abu Dhabi to give the ART Grand Prix squad a clean sweep of the 2017 qualifying sessions in the third-tier category.

Macau Grand Prix winner Daniel Ticktum ended up fourth after pushing Russell hard in the closing stages, but he was ultimately shuffled down the order by Arden International pair Leonardo Pulcini and Niko Kari.

Red Bull junior Ticktum led the way for much of the 30-minute session and was in first place when the pack came in to switch to fresh soft Pirelli tyres for their final efforts.

The top spot changed hands rapidly in the final few minutes, as Jenzer Motorsport’s Haas Formula 1 junior driver Arjun Maini and Pulcini deposed Ticktum.

Russell then claimed the top spot with a 1m55.281s with three minutes of the session remaining, while Ticktum responded with an effort that put him just 0.008s behind the Mercedes junior, who had finished in 11th place in F1 FP1 driving Esteban Ocon’s Force India earlier on Friday.

The duo looked set to exclusively battle for pole on the final run – Russell setting a personal best and then outright fastest times in the opening two sectors, while Ticktum responded with two personal best efforts of his own.

But while Russell was able to keep his pace up throughout the lap – ending up fastest on a 1m54.751s – Ticktum faded in the final sector and was pipped by Kari and Pulcini, who had in turn bettered Russell’s previous best, before the champion swept to his fourth pole of 2017.

Pulcini ended up 0.3s behind Russell, with Kari and Ticktum 0.4s and 0.5s adrift respectively.

Maini finished fifth ahead of Honda junior Nirei Fukuzumi, who seized the advantage in his fight for second in the standings with Jack Aitken, as the Renault academy member could only qualify 15th – the slowest of the four ART drivers.

Dorian Boccolacci was seventh, just in front of Raoul Hyman and Anthoine Hubert, while Alessio Lorandi rounded out the top 10.

Giuliano Alesi, currently the top non-ART driver in the standings and a three-time winner so far this season, qualified 16th.

Qualifying results

Pos.#DriverTeamLapsTimeGap
1 3 united_kingdom George Russell france ART Grand Prix 12 1'54.751  
2 6 italy Leonardo Pulcini united_kingdom Arden International 12 1'55.073 0.322
3 5 finland Niko Kari united_kingdom Arden International 11 1'55.157 0.406
4 14 united_kingdom Dan Ticktum france DAMS 12 1'55.289 0.538
5 24 india Arjun Maini switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 11 1'55.466 0.715
6 2 japan Nirei Fukuzumi france ART Grand Prix 12 1'55.484 0.733
7 12 france Dorian Boccolacci italy Trident 12 1'55.533 0.782
8 27 south_africa Raoul Hyman spain Campos Racing 11 1'55.583 0.832
9 4 france Anthoine Hubert france ART Grand Prix 12 1'55.594 0.843
10 22 italy Alessio Lorandi switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'55.605 0.854
11 7 netherlands Steijn Schothorst united_kingdom Arden International 12 1'55.610 0.859
12 11 united_states Ryan Tveter italy Trident 11 1'55.684 0.933
13 15 colombia Tatiana Calderon france DAMS 13 1'55.772 1.021
14 9 switzerland Kevin Jörg italy Trident 12 1'55.774 1.023
15 1 united_kingdom Jack Aitken france ART Grand Prix 12 1'55.823 1.072
16 10 france Giuliano Alesi italy Trident 12 1'55.909 1.158
17 16 brazil Bruno Baptista france DAMS 13 1'56.088 1.337
18 28 argentina Marcos Siebert spain Campos Racing 10 1'56.485 1.734
19 23 united_states Juan Manuel Correa switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'56.597 1.846
20 26 france Julien Falchero spain Campos Racing 9 1'57.015 2.264

 

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About this article

Series FIA F3
Event Abu Dhabi
Location Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers George Russell
Teams ART Grand Prix
Author Alex Kalinauckas