Prema Racing's Logan Sargeant scored his first FIA Formula 3 pole, edging out Red Bull junior Liam Lawson in qualifying at Silverstone by less than a tenth of a second.
American driver Sargeant appeared strong in the opening runs as he posted a benchmark of 1m46.629s to head up an all-Prema top three ahead of team-mates Oscar Piastri and Frederik Vesti halfway through the 30-minute pole shootout.
As the second runs began, Hitech driver Lawson grabbed the advantage with three minutes to go with a lap of 1m46.508s, but the New Zealander was soon surpassed by fellow Antipodean Piastri's 1m46.383s effort.
Lawson managed to find some extra time on his last lap as he retook provisional pole with a 1m46.315s as the chequered flag fell, but moments later Sargeant managed to improve to a 1m46.257s to grab the top spot.
Points leader and Renault junior Piastri had to be content with third in the end, just 0.126s shy of team-mate Sargeant.
Lawson's Hitech team-mate Max Fewtrell, who languishes down in 16th in the points after a tough start to the year, was fourth-fastest ahead of Vesti in the third Prema entry.
Sebastian Fernandez was ART Grand Prix's top representative in sixth, ahead of HWA veteran Jake Hughes and Lirim Zendeli for Trident.
Practice pacesetter Theo Pourchaire, winner of two of the last three races, ended up slowest of the three ART drivers in 12th, with SMP Racing-backed Russian Alexander Smolyar slotting in ninth and Carlin's Clement Novalak completing the top 10.
Ben Barnicoat, a last-minute replacement for Enaam Ahmed at Carlin, was 20th fastest in his first single-seater qualifying session since his 2016 European F3 campaign.
F3 British qualifying results
|1||Logan Sargeant||Prema Racing||1m46.257s|
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||0.058s|
|3||Oscar Piastri||Prema Racing||0.126s|
|4||Max Fewtrell||Hitech GP||0.473s|
|5||Frederik Vesti||Prema Racing||0.528s|
|6||Sebastian Fernandez||ART Grand Prix||0.639s|
|9||Alexander Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||0.684s|
|12||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||0.787s|
|13||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||0.891s|
|14||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||0.905s|
|15||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||0.920s|
|16||Sophia Florsch||Campos Racing||1.087s|
|18||Alex Peroni||Campos Racing||1.137s|
|19||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||1.172s|
|22||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||1.247s|
|26||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer Motorsport||1.460s|
|29||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer Motorsport||2.032s|
|30||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||2.127s|