Bird takes maiden Euro Series pole

Sam Bird took his first Formula 3 Euro Series pole position on Saturday morning, ahead of this year's season opener at Hockenheim

Bird takes maiden Euro Series pole

The Mucke Motorsport driver, who set the pace in Friday's free practice session as well, knocked Stefano Coletti off the top spot in the dying moments of qualifying to snatch pole by 0.044 seconds.

Coletti had looked good for pole after topping the timesheet several times during the session, including coming out on top of a head-to-head with championship favourite Jules Bianchi with five minutes to go.

In the end Coletti had to settle for second behind Bird, while Mika Maki was two tenths of a second back in third.

Series newcomer Roberto Merhi briefly got himself onto the front row as the majority of the field improved on their final laps, but the Manor Motorsport driver eventually finished the session in fourth.

Aside from briefly knocking Coletti off the top in their duel, Bianchi didn't really shine in qualifying and will start fifth alongside Basil Shaaban, who shot into the top six at the end as he set the fastest first-sector time of the session.

The fourth row of the grid for Saturday's first race of the season will be an all-Finnish affair, with Atte Mustonen seventh for F3-newcomer Motopark Academy, and Valtteri Bottas eighth for ART.

Carlin duo Brendon Hartley and Jake Rosenzweig will start the first race from the back of the grid, despite qualifying 14th and 20th, as a punishment for a tyre mix up by the team during qualifying when each driver used a set of tyres belonging to the other.

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Sam Bird Mucke D/M 1m33.657s 2. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 1m33.701s +0.044 3. Mika Maki Signature D/V 1m33.882s +0.225 4. Roberto Merhi Manor D/M 1m34.226s +0.569 5. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 1m34.297s +0.640 6. Basil Shaaban Prema D/M  1m34.312s +0.655 7. Atte Mustonen Motopark D/M 1m34.341s +0.684 8. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 1m34.433s +0.776 9. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V 1m34.477s +0.820 10. Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 1m34.499s +0.842 11. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M 1m34.559s +0.902 12. Marco Wittmann Mucke D/M 1m34.836s +1.179 13. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M 1m34.838s +1.181 14. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/V 1m34.841s +1.184 15. Alexander Sims Mucke D/M 1m34.866s +1.209 16. Tiago Geronimi Signature D/V 1m34.908s +1.251 17. Robert Wickens Kolles D/V 1m34.925s +1.268 18. Matteo Chinosi Prema D/M 1m35.029s +1.372 19. Christopher Zanella Motopark D/M 1m35.067s +1.410 20. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin D/V 1m35.137s +1.480 21. Pedro Henrique Manor D/M 1m35.299s +1.642 22. Kevin Mirocha HBR D/M 1m35.320s +1.663 23. Cesar Ramos Manor D/M 1m35.407s +1.750 24. Adrien Tambay ART D/M 1m35.450s +1.793 25. Alexandre Marsoin SG D/M 1m35.809s +2.152 26. Carlo van Dam Kolles D/V 1m35.834s +2.177 27. Johnny Cecotto Jr HBR D/M 1m35.858s +2.201 28. Andrea Caldarelli SG D/M 1m36.104s +2.447 
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Bird tops first Hockenheim practice
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