Roberto Merhi on provisional pole for F3 Masters at Zandvoort

Roberto Merhi claimed provisional pole position for the Masters of Formula 3, despite ending the first qualifying session in the gravel at Zandvoort's Wilgenhaege corner

Roberto Merhi on provisional pole for F3 Masters at Zandvoort

Damage to Merhi's Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes appeared minimal, but with a second decisive qualifying session scheduled for later on Saturday afternoon, there were understandably concerned looks from team manager Rene Rosin as the car was returned to the pits on a flatbed truck.

"The car was much better than [when we came here] in the Euro Series," said Merhi. "I made a mistake on what should have been my best lap so it could have been better. But it's not too bad.

"We need to look forward to the second qualifying session. If it rains again then I am P1, if not then I will have more chances to be on pole again. The car is okay, right at the end of the session I lost downforce behind Felix Rosenqvist, and that's why I went off."

Changeable weather had disrupted both free practice sessions, preventing a clear picture of the relative competitiveness of the drivers emerging before qualifying.

First qualifying was dry, and Prema men Merhi and Daniel Juncadella were in control throughout. The Spaniards were separated by just 0.008s at the finish, both men claiming to have made mistakes on their new tyre runs.

Felix Rosenqvist bounced back from a practice accident to set the third fastest time for Mucke Motorsport.

Carlin's Kevin Magnussen triggered the red flags with a moment at Kumhobocht. Just four minutes remained when the session was restarted and no driver subsequently improved his position.

Juncadella delivered a tough self-appraisal after the session, and refused to get excited over his provisional front row grid position.

"I really want to start on pole as the Masters is a one-off big event," said Juncadella. "If it rains [for second qualifying] then it will be a bit of a shame because I made a mistake on my fastest lap, and that's the reason I couldn't do it.

"I still have another set of new tyres, though. I didn't go out [in the final three minutes] after the red flag because I thought the tyres were already past their peak."

Signature driver Marco Wittmann was the best of the Volkswagen-powered drivers in fourth, ahead of Magnussen - the leading entrant from the British F3 series - and Nigel Melker in the second of the Mucke cars.

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 1m30.750s 2. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 1m30.758s + 0.008s 3. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m31.055s + 0.305s 4. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW 1m31.266s + 0.516s 5. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW 1m31.295s + 0.545s 6. Nigel Melker Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m31.411s + 0.661s 7. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW 1m31.530s + 0.780s 8. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW 1m31.599s + 0.849s 9. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW 1m31.914s + 1.164s 10. Lucas Foresti Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m31.933s + 1.183s 11. Pipo Derani Prema Dallara-Merc 1m32.096s + 1.346s 12. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 1m32.123s + 1.373s 13. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW 1m32.315s + 1.565s 14. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW 1m32.526s + 1.776s 15. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW 1m32.529s + 1.779s 16. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW 1m32.694s + 1.944s 
shares
comments
Roberto Merhi goes fastest for Prema in second practice for Formula 3 Masters

Previous article

Roberto Merhi goes fastest for Prema in second practice for Formula 3 Masters

Next article

Roberto Merhi keeps pole for the Masters of Formula 3, as Marco Wittmann tops wet second qualifying

Roberto Merhi keeps pole for the Masters of Formula 3, as Marco Wittmann tops wet second qualifying
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Plus

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it

FIA F3
Oct 6, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021