Pau F3: McLaren-Honda protege Lando Norris takes double pole

McLaren-Honda protege Lando Norris took a magnificent double pole position for Sunday's Formula 3 European Championship races at Pau, including the historic Pau Grand Prix

Pau F3: McLaren-Honda protege Lando Norris takes double pole

Norris's team, Carlin pulled a strategic masterstroke by sending the 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner out at the beginning of the session along with team-mate Jehan Daruvala, then pitting for two new tyres on the left side after a few laps; Hitech Grand Prix played a similar card.

Norris banked two laps in the 1m09.3s bracket and after a relatively kerb-averse weekend, smashed the apexes at the Foch chicane to record a 1m09.085s.

His nearest rival in his group was race-one poleman Callum Ilott, who could only manage a 1m09.609s in his Prema Powerteam machine.

"We made some changes to the car, and obviously we got to look at the data from yesterday, and I knew the places I had to improve," said Norris.

"After the race this morning I was a lot more confident and natural, with being able to push.

"I knew after yesterday that it would be tough, especially with Ilott in my group, but overall I felt much more confident in my car and surroundings.

"The team had a great strategy - everything we did all played a part."

In the second group, all but Joey Mawson aped the Carlin/Hitech first-session strategy, and it was Prema's Maximilian Gunther who emerged at the top with two laps in the 1m09.4s bracket to take front-row starts for both races.

Motopark's championship leader Joel Eriksson was languishing in fifth place going into his final lap, but the BMW junior pulled a 0.2s improvement out of the bag as the chequered flag flew to take two second-row grid positions - for both races he will start alongside Ilott.

Hitech duo Ralf Aron and Nikita Mazepin made a step forward and will share the third row for race two, and the fourth rank for the Grand Prix.

Harrison Newey also progressed and qualified his Van Amersfoort Racing car on the fourth row for race three; the third row for the GP.

Jake Hughes has fourth and fifth-row starts in his Hitech machine, just edging out Carlin's Jake Dennis on both grids.

Another Carlin runner, Ferdinand Habsburg, will start on the fifth row for both races.

Mawson took a sixth-row position for race two, but his second-best lap was only a fraction slower so he starts alongside VAR team-mate Newey on the third rank for the GP.

Daruvala was the only casualty, swiping the wall at Foch and causing a brief full-course-yellow period while his car was craned away.

RACE TWO GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time
1 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.085s
2 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.435s
3 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.609s
4 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.550s
5 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.693s
6 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.610s
7 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.752s
8 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.689s
9 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.801s
10 Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.703s
11 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.828s
12 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.746s
13 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.894s
14 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.930s
15 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.910s
16 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.935s
17 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.055s
18 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.444s
19 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.456s

RACE THREE GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time
1 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.308s
2 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.450s
3 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.728s
4 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.723s
5 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.767s
6 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.750s
7 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.834s
8 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.785s
9 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.896s
10 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.790s
11 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.954s
12 Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m09.836s
13 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.974s
14 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.970s
15 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m10.122s
16 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m09.974s
17 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.217s
18 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.730s
19 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m10.573s

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Series FIA F3
Teams Double R Racing
Author Marcus Simmons
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