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Norisring F3: Hughes beats Norris to pole by 0.002s

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Norisring F3: Hughes beats Norris to pole by 0.002s
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Jun 30, 2017, 4:37 PM

Jake Hughes pipped Lando Norris by two thousandths of a second to claim the first pole position of his Formula 3 European Championship career at the Norisring.

Hughes, who along with his Hitech GP team has had a tough start to the 2017 season, snatched the top spot on the grid for race one with a couple of minutes of the session remaining, after getting a useful tow from Callum Ilott.

It was a complete turnaround from free practice in the morning, in which Hitech’s quartet was mired down the field.

“There was a little bit to improve in my driving in the chicane, and we thought we had something that definitely needed fixing,” said Hughes, “but it seems like we’ve nailed it.”

Of his slipstream of Ilott, he added: “I was already P3 before that, and then I backed off at the last corner so I wasn’t too close.

“I don’t think I did any of my best corners on that pole lap, and the biggest thing is he made a mistake at the last corner and went wide.

“After that I still had laps to go, but I couldn’t get into the rhythm, but to be honest I don’t care!”

McLaren-Honda protege Norris possibly got a sniff of a tow from Guan Yu Zhou, who was around a second up the road.

More importantly, the Carlin star found his way to the hairpin apexes so that he nailed them sweetly, having been a long way adrift in free practice.

Pedro Piquet topped both free practice sessions and was also on top for some of the qualifying session, the Van Amersfoort Racing man finishing up just 0.015s off pole in his best Euro F3 showing to date to take third.

“The sector that we lost the most was sector one, where I lost a tenth, and on my lap I didn’t have any tow,” said the Brazilian.

“When we get the car to work well I can deliver, and the races before I was in trouble, but also not as fast as my teammates. But here I’m better than them – it’s a good sign.”

Prema Powerteam pair Maximilian Gunther and Ilott qualified fourth and fifth. Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg took sixth ahead of the Prema machine of Ferrari junior Zhou.

VAR pairing Joey Mawson and Harrison Newey joined teammate Piquet in the top 10 by taking eighth and 10th respectively, sandwiching the Carlin car of Jehan Daruvala.

For the second round running, championship leader Joel Eriksson starts Race 1 from the back row after taking 17th place.

The Motopark team found a broken rear damper on the Swede’s car just before qualifying, so there was an emergency change, and the squad still felt as though something was amiss with the set-up.

Q1 results:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
1 Jake Hughes Hitech GP 48.231  
2 Lando Norris Carlin 48.233 0.002
3 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing 48.246 0.015
4 Maximilian Gunther Prema Powerteam 48.334 0.103
5 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam 48.352 0.121
6 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 48.371 0.140
7 Guan Yu Zhou Prema Powerteam 48.379 0.148
8 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing 48.405 0.174
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 48.409 0.178
10 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing 48.411 0.180
11 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP 48.452 0.221
12 Ralf Aron Hitech GP 48.457 0.226
13 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 48.516 0.285
14 Marino Sato Motopark 48.593 0.362
15 David Beckmann Motopark 48.613 0.382
16 Keyvan Andres Soori Motopark 48.721 0.490
17 Joel Eriksson Motopark 48.871 0.640
18 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP 48.930 0.699
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Norisring F3: Gunther picks up win as Hughes and Norris collide

Norisring F3: Gunther picks up win as Hughes and Norris collide
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