Monza F3: Pourchaire takes maiden pole, three teams under investigation

Theo Pourchaire earned his maiden FIA Formula 3 pole position in a farcical qualifying session at Monza, which has left three teams under investigation for impeding

Monza F3: Pourchaire takes maiden pole, three teams under investigation

The session mirrored last year's FIA F3 qualifying session at the Italian circuit, which resulted in penalties for 17 drivers after the majority of the 30-car field jostled for track position and ended up ruining each other's flying laps.

In similarly bizarre scenes this year, the drivers ran in a safety car restart-like formation on the entry to the final corner prior to the final qualifying runs to try and get in a position to receive a tow from the cars in front.

It was 17-year-old Pourchaire (below) who emerged from the chaos to post a 1m37.301s and take his first FIA F3 pole and the four bonus points that come with it.

He was over four-tenths quicker than second-placed Lirim Zendeli, however Pourchaire's ART Grand Prix team - along with Zendeli's Trident and points leaders Prema - face a post-session investigation for impeding other drivers.

Pourchaire's team-mate Alexander Smolyar completed the top three in the provisional qualifying results.

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson's ever-fading title hopes were dealt another critical blow when he left the pits with a cooling fan still attached to his Hitech GP-run machine.

He posted the fourth-fastest time, but he faces an investigation for the incident that brought out the red flag with just under 10 minutes of the session remaining.

Trident's David Beckmann led the session after the first runs but dropped to fifth place, with Prema's Frederik Vesti falling from second to sixth place.

Vesti's title-contending team-mates Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri found themselves in the middle of the frenetic scenes and could only manage to post the 10th and 12th fastest time respectively.

Matteo Nannini - nephew of 1989 Japanese Grand Prix winner Alessandro - earned his best qualifying result of the season in seventh place ahead of HWA Racelab's Jake Hughes and his team-mate Calan Williams.

A frustrated Hughes was one of a number of drivers to set a fastest sector time before encountering the Ascari chicane, which was littered with almost a dozen slow-moving cars.

Practice pacesetter David Schumacher set the 30th and slowest time for Carlin, over 2.1s adrift of Pourchaire's benchmark.

Monza F3 qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m37.301s
2 Lirim Zendeli Trident 0.451s
3 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 0.487s
4 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 0.487s
5 David Beckmann Trident 0.508s
6 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing 0.714s
7 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 0.735s
8 Jake Hughes HWA 0.750s
9 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 0.763s
10 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing 0.794s
11 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 0.841s
12 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing 0.897s
13 Igor Fraga Charouz 0.914s
14 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 0.936s
15 Olli Caldwell Trident 1.042s
16 Roman Stanek Charouz 1.230s
17 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1.282s
18 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA 1.383s
19 Jack Doohan HWA 1.389s
20 Michael Belov Charouz 1.422s
21 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 1.499s
22 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 1.541s
23 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 1.564s
24 Clement Novalak Carlin 1.596s
25 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing 1.721s
26 Cameron Das Carlin 1.776s
27 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP 1.872s
28 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 2.147s
29 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 2.178s
30 David Schumacher Carlin 2.193s


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