Barcelona GP3: Renault's Aitken takes pole for season opener
Renault Formula 1 academy driver Jack Aitken took the first pole of the 2017 GP3 season after surging to the top of the times late on in qualifying at Barcelona.
Aitken, who beat his ART Grand Prix teammate Nirei Fukuzumi to the top spot, lit up the timing screens in the first two sectors to go quickest on his final lap at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and claim his first-ever GP3 pole.
Trident driver Dorian Boccolacci – the fastest driver in pre-season testing at Barcelona – had held first place after the field had completed their first series of flying laps, but could not improve as much as Aitken and Fukuzumi on his final run and ended up third.
Mercedes F1 junior driver George Russell finished fourth in his first GP3 qualifying session, ahead of Arden’s Leonardo Pulcini and Jenzer Motorsport racer Arjun Maini.
Giuliano Alesi – son of former F1 racer Jean – was seventh-fastest, just in front of Alessio Lorandi, reigning Italian Formula 4 champion Marcos Siebert and Anthoine Hubert, who completed the top 10 for ART.
Santino Ferrucci and Tatiana Calderon – F1 development drivers for Haas and Sauber respectively – qualified 14th and 18th for DAMS.
Alex Kalinauckas / Autosport
|1||1||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||12||1'34.187|
|2||2||Nirei Fukuzumi||ART Grand Prix||12||1'34.358||0.171|
|4||3||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||13||1'34.468||0.281|
|5||6||Leonardo Pulcini||Arden International||13||1'34.602||0.415|
|6||24||Arjun Maini||Jenzer Motorsport||13||1'34.685||0.498|
|8||22||Alessio Lorandi||Jenzer Motorsport||13||1'34.720||0.533|
|9||28||Marcos Siebert||Campos Racing||14||1'34.788||0.601|
|10||4||Anthoine Hubert||ART Grand Prix||12||1'34.866||0.679|
|11||5||Niko Kari||Arden International||13||1'34.964||0.777|
|12||27||Raoul Hyman||Campos Racing||14||1'35.031||0.844|
|13||7||Steijn Schothorst||Arden International||13||1'35.041||0.854|
|15||26||Julien Falchero||Campos Racing||12||1'35.088||0.901|
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