Abu Dhabi GP3: Mercedes' Ocon takes pole and championship lead

Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon left it late to grab his third consecutive GP3 pole in Abu Dhabi, and with it four points to reclaim the championship lead from Luca Ghiotto

Abu Dhabi GP3: Mercedes' Ocon takes pole and championship lead

Trident driver Ghiotto started qualifying for the season finale leading the championship by two points, and was looking strong for the majority of the session.

The Italian was top of the timesheets by almost half a second after his first run.

But during a frenetic finale Arden International driver Kevin Ceccon knocked Ghiotto off top spot, before Ocon's ART Grand Prix team-mate Marvin Kirchhofer demoted him further into third, by 0.083 seconds.

It seemed as though neither championship contender would pick up the crucial points for pole position, but Ocon had other ideas.

After completing three warm-up laps the Frenchman was able to overhaul Ceccon by just 0.016s as the session came to an end, with a time of 1m55.491s.

Ghiotto crossed the line after Ocon but he could not improve and will line up fourth on the grid.

Koiranen GP's Jimmy Eriksson was briefly third in the early stages but fell down the order late on to end the session fifth.

Arden's Emil Bernstorff was three tenths off pole in sixth, ahead of Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco and Campos Racing driver Alex Palou in seventh and eighth respectively.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1m55.491s - 12
2 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1m55.507s 0.016s 12
3 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1m55.549s 0.058s 12
4 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1m55.574s 0.083s 13
5 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1m55.679s 0.188s 13
6 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1m55.852s 0.361s 12
7 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1m55.873s 0.382s 13
8 Alex Palou Campos Racing 1m55.919s 0.428s 12
9 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1m55.952s 0.461s 11
10 Artur Janosz Trident 1m56.064s 0.573s 12
11 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1m56.095s 0.604s 13
12 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 1m56.205s 0.714s 13
13 Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1m56.265s 0.774s 13
14 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1m56.284s 0.793s 12
15 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 1m56.313s 0.822s 11
16 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1m56.361s 0.870s 12
17 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1m56.538s 1.047s 11
18 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1m56.871s 1.380s 12
19 Adderly Fong Carlin 1m56.877s 1.386s 13
20 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1m56.936s 1.445s 12
21 Michele Beretta Trident 1m57.030s 1.539s 12
22 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 1m57.163s 1.672s 12
23 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 1m57.468s 1.977s 13
24 Alex Bosak Arden International 1m58.865s 3.374s 12

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