Spa GP3: Mercedes junior Russell takes pole in ART one-two

Mercedes Formula 1 junior driver George Russell topped GP3 qualifying at Spa ahead of his ART Grand Prix team-mate Nirei Fukuzumi

Spa GP3: Mercedes junior Russell takes pole in ART one-two

Arjun Maini ended up third ahead of Russell's closest rival at the top of the championship standings, Jack Aitken.

The 30-minute session was wet throughout, although the track dried as the cars circulated on their wet tyres.

That meant times were increasingly lowered with Dorian Boccolacci, Steijn Schothorst and Alessio Lorandi enjoying brief spells at the head of the times early on.

Aitken also seized first place before Russell, who tested the 2017 Mercedes F1 car following the last round of the GP3 season in Budapest, went fastest.

Russell then set purple sectors in the first two thirds of the lap with 18 minutes of the session completed, but he opted to abandon that lap and return to the pits.

But the Briton still headed Aitken as much of the field followed him in to make adjustments and caused a break in the action.

The sun came out for the final third of the session and the times then continued to tumble.

Maini grabbed the top spot for a spell before Russell, who had a slight coming together with Lorandi at the exit of La Source late on, reasserted his dominance by improving again to set the session's best time - a 2m27.042s - with his final effort.

Fukuzumi, a Honda F1 junior, wound up 0.274s adrift in second, with Maini 0.699s behind Russell.

Aitken could not break into the top three on his final run and finished fourth ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere, who is taking part in his second weekend in succession for the DAMS squad.

Boccolacci was sixth in front of Trident driver Ryan Tveter and Schothorst, with Julien Falchero and Tatiana Calderon rounding out the top 10.

Ferrari Academy driver Giuliano Alesi - the winner of the last two reverse grid races in Hungary and Silverstone - finished in 12th place.

GP3 debutant Juan Manuel Correa will start his first race in the third tier category from 20th and last place on the grid.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 2m27.042s -
2 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 2m27.316s 0.274s
3 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 2m27.741s 0.699s
4 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 2m28.039s 0.997s
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere DAMS 2m28.474s 1.432s
6 Dorian Boccolacci Trident 2m28.593s 1.551s
7 Ryan Tveter Trident 2m28.814s 1.772s
8 Steijn Schothorst Arden International 2m28.857s 1.815s
9 Julien Falchero Campos Racing 2m29.110s 2.068s
10 Tatiana Calderon DAMS 2m29.118s 2.076s
11 Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 2m29.267s 2.225s
12 Giuliano Alesi Trident 2m29.270s 2.228s
13 Kevin Jorg Trident 2m29.461s 2.419s
14 Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 2m29.546s 2.504s
15 Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 2m29.744s 2.702s
16 Niko Kari Arden International 2m29.766s 2.724s
17 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 2m29.882s 2.840s
18 Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 2m29.925s 2.883s
19 Bruno Baptista DAMS 2m29.981s 2.939s
20 Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 2m30.587s 3.545s


shares
comments
Single-seater outfit Prema closing on expansion to GP3 for 2018

Previous article

Single-seater outfit Prema closing on expansion to GP3 for 2018

Next article

Spa GP3: Mercedes junior George Russell leads ART 1-2-3 to victory

Spa GP3: Mercedes junior George Russell leads ART 1-2-3 to victory
Load comments
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
The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars Plus

The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars

Recently named as Autosport's greatest single-seater, Ralt's RT3 launched a plethora of superstar drivers through the early 1980s, and established the constructor as the go-to place for your single-seater weapon

FIA F3
Dec 8, 2020