Monza GP3: Charles Leclerc denies Arden duo with last-gasp pole lap

Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc denied the Arden team a front-row lockout in GP3 qualifying at Monza as the points leader snatched a last-gasp third pole position of the season

Monza GP3: Charles Leclerc denies Arden duo with last-gasp pole lap

Fresh from his maiden victory at Spa-Francorchamps last Sunday, Jack Aitken held top spot when the session was halted with three minutes remaining to recover the stranded car of Giuliano Alesi.

Aitken had been working in tandem with Arden team-mate Jake Dennis during the session, with the British pair providing each other with a slipstream.

Dennis looked like he could have lost out from this strategy when he was left down in seventh when the red flags came out just after he had provided Aitken with a tow, but in the single flying laps after the restart he was able to move to the top, 0.017 seconds faster than Aitken.

But ART Grand Prix driver Leclerc was even faster behind him on track, and bettered Dennis' benchmark by 0.166s to claim pole and four bonus points.

Title contender Alexander Albon enjoyed a better session than at Spa one week ago to take fourth, while Jake Hughes climbed to fifth with his final effort but will take a three-place grid penalty for contact at Spa.

That will promote his DAMS team-mate Kevin Jorg as well as ART's Nirei Fukuzumi and Trident's Antonio Fuoco, the closest man in the standings to fellow Ferrari junior Leclerc.

After leading early on, Nyck de Vries ended up ninth while the returning Ralph Boschung grabbed 10th, but carries a grid penalty over from his last appearance at Hockenheim.

The perceived benefit of a slipstream meant some drivers chose to fight over the same piece of track, and this led to contact between Arjun Maini and Artur Janosz on the run to the Parabolica that sent the Indian's car up into the air and removed the front wing.

Jorg also damaged the front of his car in a separate incident, but DAMS was able to make repairs in time for him to return to the track and improve his time.

QUALIFYING TIMES

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix 1m38.546s -
2 Jake Dennis Arden International 1m38.712s 0.166s
3 Jack Aitken Arden International 1m38.729s 0.183s
4 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1m38.847s 0.301s
5 Jake Hughes DAMS 1m38.850s 0.304s
6 Kevin Jorg DAMS 1m38.872s 0.326s
7 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1m38.878s 0.332s
8 Antonio Fuoco Trident 1m38.879s 0.333s
9 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 1m38.885s 0.339s
10 Ralph Boschung Koiranen GP 1m38.945s 0.399s
11 Alex Palou Campos Racing 1m39.045s 0.499s
12 Sandy Stuvik Trident 1m39.084s 0.538s
13 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 1m39.255s 0.709s
14 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1m39.268s 0.722s
15 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 1m39.286s 0.740s
16 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1m39.377s 0.831s
17 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1m39.430s 0.884s
18 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing 1m39.439s 0.893s
19 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1m39.535s 0.989s
20 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport 1m39.558s 1.012s
21 Artur Janosz Trident 1m39.869s 1.323s
22 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 1m40.216s 1.670s


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