Nikita Mazepin takes GP3 pole position at Sochi

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin took GP3 pole position at Sochi, edging three drivers by under a tenth of a second

Nikita Mazepin takes GP3 pole position at Sochi

ART Grand Prix driver Mazepin, second in the championship, produced a rapid lap as the sun set to edge out Campos Racing's Leo Pulcini, Callum Ilott (ART) and Trident's Giuliano Alesi.

Although the session started in light, it was almost completely dark as the drivers still managed to improve with later runs despite decreased visibility.

It was an important four points for Mazepin as it edges him ahead of Callum Ilott, his team-mate who had been tied with him for second in the standings with four races left.

Points leader Anthoine Hubert could only manage fifth with his last lap despite leading most of the session in his ART car. The fourth car from the team, of Jake Hughes was in contention until the final lap when he clipped a kerb and ran wide at Turn 2.

He headed Ryan Tveter and Simo Laaksonen, both enjoying a strong run of form, while Richard Verschoor took eighth in his best qualifying since joining the series at Spa from the Formula Renault Eurocup.

Aussie Joey Mawson and Hughes rounded out the top 10.

Recent pacesetter David Beckmann suffered what appeared to be an engine failure, bringing his run of two poles in a row to an end with Trident.

Rookie Sacha Fenestraz, replacing Julien Falchero at Arden, managed 13th, while MP Motorsport is running with only two cars after Niko Kari graduated to the team's F2 squad to replace Ralph Boschung.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 1m52.586s - 12
2 Callum Ilott ART Grand Prix 1m52.655s 0.069s 14
3 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1m52.664s 0.078s 13
4 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1m52.798s 0.212s 14
5 Ryan Tveter Trident 1m52.826s 0.240s 13
6 Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing 1m52.844s 0.258s 12
7 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1m52.865s 0.279s 14
8 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1m52.951s 0.365s 14
9 Joey Mawson Arden International 1m53.178s 0.592s 14
10 Jake Hughes ART Grand Prix 1m53.218s 0.632s 13
11 Pedro Piquet Trident 1m53.262s 0.676s 13
12 Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 1m53.362s 0.776s 13
13 Sacha Fenestraz Arden International 1m53.435s 0.849s 14
14 Tatiana Calderon Jenzer Motorsport 1m53.661s 1.075s 13
15 David Beckmann Trident 1m53.765s 1.179s 10
16 Devlin Defrancesco MP Motorsport 1m53.992s 1.406s 14
17 Gabriel Aubry Arden International 1m54.007s 1.421s 14
18 Diego Menchaca Campos Racing 1m54.614s 2.028s 12
19 Jannes Fittje Jenzer Motorsport 1m54.846s 2.260s 12

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Series FIA F3
Drivers Nikita Mazepin
Author Jack Benyon
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