Maximilian Gunther takes two European F3 poles at Paul Ricard

Maximilian Gunther took pole position for the second and third races of the opening round of the Formula 3 European Championship at Paul Ricard

Maximilian Gunther takes two European F3 poles at Paul Ricard

The German, a race winner in his rookie F3 season in 2015, whisked his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes around a now-dry Provence circuit a mere 0.017 seconds quicker than Briton George Russell's Hitech Grand Prix machine.

Gunther's second-best time was also fractionally quicker than Russell's fastest, while the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner completed another lap good for a front-row spot, his second-best effort falling short of Gunther's by 0.109s.

NEWS UPDATE: Russell stripped of front-row slots

"The dry conditions made it much easier to calculate than first qualifying," said Gunther, who was baulked on the final lap of the opening, drying session.

"I'm very happy - my first two poles in European F3."

Gunther's fellow Prema man Nick Cassidy took third spot for races two and three, the New Zealander the only driver to take a hat-trick of top-three slots.

The poleman's former Mucke Motorsport team-mate Mikkel Jensen lines up fourth for race two, followed by the fastest two rookies, with Prema-run Estonian Ralf Aron, the reigning Italian Formula 4 champion, edging out Motopark driver Joel Eriksson by just 0.003s.

Next up was Brit Callum Ilott, although the Van Amersfoort Racing man improved to fourth on the grid for race three with his second-best lap.

Ben Barnicoat continued his strong debut F3 weekend with eighth in the second Hitech machine, while first-race poleman Lance Stroll surprisingly languishes down in ninth.

On second-best times, Jensen is fifth from Aron, who again heads the rookies, Barnicoat, Stroll and Eriksson.

The top 10 is completed for each of the two races by Anthoine Hubert.

RACE TWO QUALIFYING

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m20.881s -
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m20.983s 0.102s
3 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.035s 0.154s
4 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.164s 0.283s
5 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.167s 0.286s
6 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.177s 0.296s
7 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.207s 0.326s
8 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.251s 0.370s
9 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.436s 0.555s
10 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.603s 0.722s
11 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.623s 0.742s
12 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.623s 0.742s
13 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.816s 0.935s
14 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.843s 0.962s
15 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.876s 0.995s
16 Raoul Hyman Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.915s 1.034s
17 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m22.204s 1.323s
18 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 1m22.453s 1.572s
19 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m22.643s 1.762s
20 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.037s 2.156s
- George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes - -

RACE THREE QUALIFYING

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m20.895s -
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.104s 0.209s
3 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.193s 0.298s
4 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.236s 0.341s
5 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.293s 0.398s
6 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.304s 0.409s
7 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.400s 0.505s
8 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.436s 0.541s
9 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.662s 0.767s
10 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.710s 0.815s
11 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.729s 0.834s
12 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m21.742s 0.847s
13 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.879s 0.984s
14 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.894s 0.999s
15 Raoul Hyman Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m21.957s 1.062s
16 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m22.046s 1.151s
17 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m22.218s 1.323s
18 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 1m22.637s 1.742s
19 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m22.709s 1.814s
20 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.191s 2.296s
- George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes - -


shares
comments
Williams protege Lance Stroll pips Nick Cassidy to Paul Ricard pole

Previous article

Williams protege Lance Stroll pips Nick Cassidy to Paul Ricard pole

Next article

Ilott helped by European F3's new lighter penalties after fire

Ilott helped by European F3's new lighter penalties after fire
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Plus

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it

FIA F3
Oct 6, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021