F3 Spa: Daruvala takes pole at Spa for Prema, ART has a disaster

Prema Racing's Jehan Daruvala became the sixth polesitter in as many rounds of the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship in a frenetic qualifying session at Spa

F3 Spa: Daruvala takes pole at Spa for Prema, ART has a disaster

Trident Racing - which took pole and won with David Beckmann in the GP3 Series' final visit to Spa last season - looked dominant with Pedro Piquet and Devlin DeFrancesco sitting 0.3 seconds clear of the pack after the first bout of flying laps.

But with 30 cars laying down rubber and the track improving constantly as a result, a flurry of late laps mixed up the order in a session where most drivers could only extract one lap out of the tyres before they passed the prime operating window.

Daruvala left it late, but excelled in the tricky middle sector to go 0.231s quicker than Piquet and seal pole.

His effort could be key for his championship bid, as the four points for pole boosts his total in third position and means he is 16 off the lead.

F3 Red Bull-backed rookie Yuki Tsunoda, comfortably the most impressive of Honda's Formula 1-feeder series drivers in 2019 - despite driving for a Jenzer Motorsport team that is not considered among the top outfits - took third.

Championship leader Robert Shwartzman qualified fourth after the SMP Racing and Ferrari junior attempted to improve with a second lap on his last set of tyres but his move did not pay off.

Jake Hughes delivered fifth for HWA, while title contender and Red Bull junior Juri Vips sealed sixth for Hitech Grand Prix, ahead of the resurgent DeFrancesco.

The second Hitech-run car of Leonardo Pulcini - who won the second race at Silverstone last month - took ninth ahead of another Red Bull junior, Liam Lawson.

Max Fewtrell was the best ART Grand Prix-run driver in 12th after the single-seater juggernaut team had a nightmare session.

Christian Lundgaard - who won the first race at the last round in Hungary - was 14th, while Beckmann continued his disappointing season with 17th.

The third Prema-run car of Marcus Armstrong ended up way down the order in 19th, which will hurt his championship aspirations.

The Ferrari junior, who is currently fourth in the championship, decided to drop back in the running order for track position late-on, which meant he only had time for a single final lap run.

It proved to be the right call as few drivers improved on their second laps, but nailing the first lap was key and Armstrong ended up 1.2s off the best time with his sole effort.

Following qualifying, reigning German Formula 4 champion Lirim Zendeli was given a three-place grid drop for causing a collision with Campos Racing's Sebastian Fernandez.

Sauber Junior Team driver Zendeli qualified 29th, so he will start 30th.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Jehan Daruvala Prema Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 2m05.125s 11
2 Pedro Piquet Trident Dallara/Mecachrome 0.231s 10
3 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 0.415s 10
4 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 0.480s 11
5 Jake Hughes HWA Dallara/Mecachrome 0.489s 10
6 Juri Vips Hitech GP Dallara/Mecachrome 0.500s 11
7 Devlin Defrancesco Trident Dallara/Mecachrome 0.515s 11
8 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP Dallara/Mecachrome 0.576s 11
9 Logan Sargeant Carlin Dallara/Mecachrome 0.584s 11
10 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 0.935s 11
11 Alex Peroni Campos Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1.062s 10
12 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix Dallara/Mecachrome 1.082s 11
13 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 1.130s 11
14 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix Dallara/Mecachrome 1.145s 11
15 Yifei Ye Hitech GP Dallara/Mecachrome 1.149s 11
16 Bent Viscaal HWA Dallara/Mecachrome 1.164s 10
17 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix Dallara/Mecachrome 1.208s 10
18 Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 1.271s 11
19 Marcus Armstrong Prema Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1.275s 10
20 Teppei Natori Carlin Dallara/Mecachrome 1.295s 10
21 Niko Kari Trident Dallara/Mecachrome 1.350s 11
22 Keyvan Andres HWA Dallara/Mecachrome 1.412s 10
23 Felipe Drugovich Carlin Dallara/Mecachrome 1.481s 10
24 Raoul Hyman Charouz Dallara/Mecachrome 1.489s 10
25 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 2.126s 10
26 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 2.350s 10
27 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 2.378s 10
28 Fabio Scherer Charouz Dallara/Mecachrome 2.889s 10
29 Lirim Zendeli Charouz Dallara/Mecachrome 2.951s 9
30 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 3.773s 10


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