Norisring Euro F3: Ferrari proteges claim poles for final two races

Ferrari proteges Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong (pictured) have taken the two pole positions for Sunday's Formula 3 European Championship races at the Norisring

Norisring Euro F3: Ferrari proteges claim poles for final two races

Russian Shwartzman set the overall fastest time in second qualifying at the wheel of his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes to claim pole for race two, while New Zealander Armstrong - winner of the weekend's first race - set the quickest second-best time and will start at the front for the finale.

Both polesitting Prema drivers ran in the opening group, with the field split into two on this short circuit, and Shwartzman stamped in the overall best just into the final three minutes to pip Armstrong by 0.043 seconds.

But on second-best laps, Shwartzman was only fourth in his group, meaning he will start race three from seventh.

"I did my best lap four from the end - it was a really good lap and I got every single corner right," said Shwartzman.

"Then I was trying to push even more, and I made some mistakes at Turn 1.

"On the last lap I was decent in Turn 1 and the chicane, but I made a small mistake in the last corner and that probably cost me the second pole."

Motopark's Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum was third in this group, ahead of Carlin-run Force India protege Jehan Daruvala, the duo moving up to the second and third row respectively on second-best times.

Another Motopark driver, Marino Sato, emerged from the opening group with fifth-row starts for both races.

The second group was a thriller, with a last-gasp effort from championship leader Enaam Ahmed putting the Hitech GP driver onto the front row for race two, just 0.004s away from beating Shwartzman's time.

Keyvan Andres Soori was sitting at the top of the times in his Van Amersfoort Racing car as the chequered flag fell, but what would have been one of the all-time F3 shocks was averted when Motopark's Juri Vips pipped him by 0.001s on his final lap.

Ahmed, in turn, then crossed the line to edge out Vips by 0.110s.

"I broke the left-rear rim at Turn 2 [the first part of the chicane] when I hit the wall, and I was going to box, but they told me to carry on," said Ahmed.

"So after breaking the car I'm happy with that - I always knew in the dry we had the pace, and I've been good on the brakes since my karting days."

On second-best times, Vips claimed a front-row start for race three, with Ahmed dropping to third in the group and Andres Soori to a lowly eighth.

Carlin driver Ferdinand Habsburg and Hitech's Alex Palou finished the session fourth and fifth in the group, but it's sixth-fastest Prema man Guan Yu Zhou who moves up to a second-row start for race three.

Palou moves up to the fourth row for race three, with another VAR surprise package - Artem Petrov - on the fifth rank, and Habsburg plummeting to the ninth row.

Expected contenders Sacha Fenestraz and Ralf Aron could do no better than the seventh row, and Mick Schumacher the 10th.

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Euro F3 Norisring: Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong takes first win
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