Merhi captures seventh and eighth poles of season at Hockenheim

Roberto Merhi captured another pair of pole positions for the F3 Euro Series finale at Hockenheim

Merhi captures seventh and eighth poles of season at Hockenheim

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who wrapped up the title at his home circuit of Valencia last time out, appeared to be in a class of his own as he took his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes to the top of the timesheets within the first 10 minutes of the session.

The 1m32.361s lap he set before fitting fresh rubber, however, was not an unassailable target, so out Merhi went again, improving his pole mark to 1m31.693s with three minutes to go.

While that time was not beaten, practice pace-setter Felix Rosenqvist came close; the Mucke Motorsport driver steadily rising up the order through the second half of the session and eventually missing the top spot - and therefore pole for Sunday's final race of the year - by 0.090s.

Even more agonisingly for the Swede, who won the Masters of F3 this year but has yet to secure a Euro Series victory, his second fastest time of 1m31.938 was identical to Merhi's. However as he set that time after his rival, it is the Spaniard who also takes pole for Saturday's opening race.

Carlos Sainz Jr, making his series debut, was a superb third on the grid for both races for Signature, ahead of team regulars Daniel Abt, Laurens Vanthoor and Marco Wittmann in the overall times.

Nigel Melker (Mucke) and Daniel Juncadella (Prema) - the latter of whom is battling with Wittman for the championship runner-up spot - were seventh and eighth, with the top 10 for race three therefore completed by Motopark's Jimmy Eriksson and Signature's Carlos Munoz.

Race 1 grid

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 1m31.938s 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 0.000s 3. Carlos Sainz Jr Signature Dallara-VW + 0.225s 4. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW + 0.288s 5. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW + 0.323s 6. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW + 0.406s 7. Nigel Melker Mucke Dallara-Merc + 0.535s 8. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc + 0.609s 9. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW + 0.661s 10. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW + 0.811s 11. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW + 0.949s 12. Facu Regalia Mucke Dallara-Merc + 1.153s 13. Gianmarco Raimondo Prema Dallara-Merc + 1.281s 14. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc + 1.715s 15. Artem Markelov Motopark Dallara-VW + 2.161s

Race 3 grid

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 1m31.693s 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 0.090s 3. Carlos Sainz Jr Signature Dallara-VW + 0.329s 4. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW + 0.433s 5. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW + 0.444s 6. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW + 0.584s 7. Nigel Melker Mucke Dallara-Merc + 0.771s 8. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc + 0.780s 9. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW + 0.829s 10. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW + 1.052s 11. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW + 1.127s 12. Facu Regalia Mucke Dallara-Merc + 1.318s 13. Gianmarco Raimondo Prema Dallara-Merc + 1.451s 14. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc + 1.952s 15. Artem Markelov Motopark Dallara-VW + 2.402s
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