Norisring European F3: Hughes gets first pole ahead of Norris

Jake Hughes pipped Lando Norris by two thousandths of a second to claim the first pole position of his Formula 3 European Championship career at the Norisring

Norisring European F3: Hughes gets first pole ahead of Norris

Hughes, who along with Hitech GP had a tough start to the 2017 season, snatched the top spot on the grid for race one with a couple of minutes of the session remaining, after getting a useful tow from Callum Ilott.

It was a complete turnaround from free practice in the morning, in which Hitech's quartet was mired down the field.

"There was a little bit to improve in my driving in the chicane, and we thought we had something that definitely needed fixing," said Hughes, "but it seems like we've nailed it."

Of his slipstream of Ilott, he added: "I was already P3 before that, and then I backed off at the last corner so I wasn't too close.

"I don't think I did any of my best corners on that pole lap, and the biggest thing is he made a mistake at the last corner and went wide.

"After that I still had laps to go, but I couldn't get into the rhythm, but to be honest I don't care!"

McLaren-Honda protege Norris possibly got a sniff of a tow from Guan Yu Zhou, who was around a second up the road, but more importantly the Carlin star found his way to the hairpin apexes so that he nailed them sweetly, having been a long way adrift in free practice.

Pedro Piquet topped both free practice sessions and was also on top for some of the qualifying session, the Van Amersfoort Racing man finishing up just 0.015s off pole in his best Euro F3 showing to date to take third.

"The sector that we lost the most was sector one, where I lost a tenth, and on my lap I didn't have any tow," said the Brazilian.

"When we get the car to work well I can deliver, and the races before I was in trouble, but also not as fast as my team-mates.

"But here I'm better than them - it's a good sign."

Prema Powerteam pair Maximilian Gunther and Ilott qualified fourth and fifth, the two title contenders not appearing to pick up anything close to a tow from anybody.

Carlin's Ferdinand Habsburg, neat and tidy all day, secured sixth ahead of the Prema machine of Ferrari junior Zhou.

VAR pairing Joey Mawson and Harrison Newey joined team-mate Piquet in the top 10 by taking eighth and 10th respectively, sandwiching the Carlin car of Jehan Daruvala.

For the second round running, championship leader Joel Eriksson starts race one from the back row after taking 17th place.

The Motopark team founded a broken rear damper on the Swede's car just before qualifying, so there was an emergency change, and the squad still felt as though something was amiss with the set-up.

RACE ONE QUALIFYING:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 48.231s -
2 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 48.233s 0.002s
3 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 48.246s 0.015s
4 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 48.03s -0.20
5 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 48.352s 0.121s
6 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 48.371s 0.140s
7 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 48.379s 0.148s
8 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 48.405s 0.174s
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 48.409s 0.178s
10 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 48.411s 0.180s
11 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 48.452s 0.221s
12 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 48.457s 0.226s
13 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 48.516s 0.285s
14 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 48.593s 0.362s
15 David Beckmann Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 48.613s 0.382s
16 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 48.721s 0.490s
17 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 48.871s 0.640s
18 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 48.930s 0.699s


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