Bianchi leads ART 1-2-3 in qualifying

Formula 3 Euro Series championship leader Jules Bianchi led an ART 1-2-3 in qualifying for the first race of the weekend at the Nurburgring

Bianchi leads ART 1-2-3 in qualifying

The Frenchman snatched the top spot from team-mate Valtteri Bottas with six minutes remaining and was able to improve his time further despite having no need to go any faster.

He will be joined on the front row by Esteban Gutierrez, who also jumped ahead of Bottas when the drivers rejoined the track on their second sets of tyres.

Bottas had to settle for third and he will be joined on the second row by Sam Bird. The Briton hadn't featured at the front for most of the session, but put in a strong lap in the final minute to get himself into contention.

Behind them, Mika Maki ended a solid session in fifth place, while Bird's team-mate Alexander Sims also put a late lap in to earn himself a top six starting spot.

Jean-Karl Vernay was another driver to only feature in the closing stages of qualifying and he ended up seventh on the grid, ahead of Bianchi's closest title rival Christian Vietoris.

The German, who is now 19 points behind Bianchi following the ART driver's pole position, had led a 1-2-3 for Mucke Motorsport during free practice, but was unable to match the pace setters in the evening qualifying session as the times improved.

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 1m22.823s 2. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M 1m23.114s +0.291 3. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 1m23.262s +0.439 4. Sam Bird Mucke D/M 1m23.290s +0.467 5. Mika Maki Signature D/V 1m23.315s +0.492 6. Alexander Sims Mucke D/M 1m23.342s +0.519 7. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V 1m23.376s +0.553 8. Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 1m23.396s +0.573 9. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M 1m23.479s +0.656 10. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 1m23.480s +0.657 11. Marco Wittmann Mucke D/M 1m23.494s +0.671 12. Roberto Merhi Manor D/M 1m23.498s +0.675 13. Christopher Zanella Motopark D/M 1m23.561s +0.738 14. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/V 1m23.608s +0.785 15. Tom Dillmann HBR D/M 1m23.675s +0.852 16. Atte Mustonen Motopark D/M 1m23.930s +1.107 17. Pedro Henrique Manor D/M 1m24.078s +1.255 18. Cesar Ramos Manor D/M 1m24.079s +1.256 19. Tiago Geronimi Signature D/V 1m24.090s +1.267 20. Basil Shaaban Prema D/M 1m24.230s +1.407 21. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin D/V 1m24.266s +1.443 22. Andrea Caldarelli SG D/M 1m24.272s +1.449 23. Johnny Cecotto Jr HBR D/M 1m24.290s +1.467 24. Nick Tandy Kolles D/V 1m24.297s +1.474 25. Johan Jokinen Kolles D/V 1m24.543s +1.720 
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