First European F3 pole for George Russell and Hitech GP in Hungary

George Russell qualified on pole position for the opening race of the Formula 3 European Championship weekend at the Hungaroring

First European F3 pole for George Russell and Hitech GP in Hungary

Russell, the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, pipped free-practice pacesetter Maximilian Gunther by a mere 0.018 seconds to earn his first F3 pole, and also the first for the new Hitech GP team.

With the ambient temperature heating up, times were more than half a second slower than they were during the morning's free-practice running.

"It's great getting my first pole in F3," said Russell, "especially at a circuit I'd never been to before, and it's great for Hitech too with them being a new team.

"It was a really tough session - the track has changed so much since testing [on Wednesday] and even free practice, and I can see everyone's tyres are completely finished.

"If I'm honest I didn't quite maximise it - I was two tenths up in sector one on my following lap but the tyres were gone by then."

Gunther was in a similar boat to Russell, stating "my performance was good but my laps were not perfect I would say - I think everyone struggled a bit with balance."

Ralf Aron earned bragging rights among the rookies, the reigning Italian Formula 4 champion taking third on the grid, with Lance Stroll completing a 2-3-4 for the Prema Powerteam squad.

Joel Eriksson was fifth fastest, while Red Bull junior Niko Kari ensured an all-Motopark third row by taking sixth spot.

Nick Cassidy, who has been struggling a little by his standards all day, ended up seventh ahead of the second Red Bull-backed car, that of Wednesday test topper Sergio Sette Camara.

The top 10 was completed by Callum Ilott and Alessio Lorandi, with Van Amersfoort Racing and Carlin respectively.

Many laptimes were discounted due to track-limits offences. The worst-hit was Hitech's Ben Barnicoat, whose lap deletions cost him the best part of a second and relegated him from being a top-three contender to a final position of 14th.

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George Russell loses Hungaroring European F3 pole over track limits

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