Pau F3: Callum Ilott leads McLaren F1's Norris on race one grid

Callum Ilott took a stunning pole position for the first race of the Formula 3 European Championship round on the Pau street circuit, ahead of Lando Norris

Pau F3: Callum Ilott leads McLaren F1's Norris on race one grid

Ilott ran in the first qualifying group - with the field split into two at this circuit - and his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes lapped 0.368 seconds faster than the Motopark Dallara-Volkswagen of championship leader Joel Eriksson.

A sinister-looking rain cloud meant the first group went out right from the start of the session, but although there were a few rain drops the track stayed dry.

Ilott, who was hugely spectacular at the Foch chicane, set his time with several minutes to go and then pitted towards the end.

"I did a lot of laps where it was very consistent," he said, "and then I just toned it down a bit and that was the lap where I put it all together.

"After this there was not much left [from the tyres] because we went out early because of the weather, so I had to stress a bit!"

McLaren-Honda protege Norris emerged at the top of the second group in his Carlin Dallara-VW to complete an all British front row, but he fell 0.210s short of Ilott's best as he pipped Prema's Maximilian Gunther to the position.

Norris was sensational in free practice, which was mainly wet, on his maiden visit to Pau, but the lack of dry track time militated against him in qualifying.

Norris had just demoted Gunther from the top of the pile when the red flags flew with two minutes remaining for a David Beckmann accident, and Gunther had just started a lap in which he'd made an improvement in the opening sector.

But for his part, Norris reckoned he also had more to come.

"I'm pretty happy, although two tenths off Callum is not where I wanted to be," he said.

"There were a couple of bits where I wasn't as confident as I'd like to have been by knowing the track - there are improvements to make, but Callum did a good job."

A barrier-shaving performance from Joey Mawson put the Van Amersfoort Racing F3 rookie on the third row, alongside Carlin's Jake Dennis.

Prema-run Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou and lead Hitech GP racer Jake Hughes will line up on row four, while Nikita Mazepin (Hitech) and Pedro Piquet (VAR) round out the top 10 on the grid, despite a late moment at the opening Gare corner for Mazepin.

RACE ONE GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time
1 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.514s
2 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.724s
3 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.882s
4 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.753s
5 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.907s
6 Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.856s
7 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.942s
8 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.959s
9 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.146s
10 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.439s
11 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.258s
12 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.498s
13 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.271s
14 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.634s
15 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.350s
16 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.673s
17 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.854s
18 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.981s
19 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m11.819s

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