Zandvoort European F3: Ferrari junior Zhou leads Prema 1-2-3-4

Ferrari protege Guan Yu Zhou bounced back from a disappointing recent run of form to take pole position for the first race of the Zandvoort Formula 3 European Championship round

Zandvoort European F3: Ferrari junior Zhou leads Prema 1-2-3-4

The Shanghai racer led a 1-2-3-4 for the Prema Powerteam squad of Dallara-Mercedes machinery, beating Ralf Aron by 0.143 seconds.

Most of the competitors used two full sets of Hankook tyres from their weekend allocation of three sets.

Robert Shwartzman led the pack in his Prema car after the first runs, but the Russian dropped to seventh on his second set.

Instead, it was Zhou, Aron, Mick Schumacher and championship leader Marcus Armstrong who led the way at the chequered flag.

All but Schumacher set their times on their first sequence of push laps on their second set - they then had a cool-down before a final effort, with free-practice pacesetter Schumacher leaping from fifth to third on the last lap of the session.

That effort demoted Motopark's Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum to fifth, the Briton feeling that the team needs to find a little bit in the set-up in time for second qualifying later in the day.

Ticktum headed Motopark team-mate Jonathan Aberdein, who continued his recent strong run to complete the third row.

Behind seventh-placed Shwartzman, Alex Palou led the Hitech GP charge in eighth, with Motopark's Juri Vips and another Hitech car - that of Ben Hingeley - completing the top 10.

The other Hitech driver, Enaam Ahmed, crashed heavily at the start of the second free practice session at the high-speed Mastersbocht right-hander when he lost downforce in the dirty air of a slower car.

Ahmed consequently had a disastrous qualifying session, taking 22nd position out of the 24 competitors.

It was also a poor session for Carlin. Some of its drivers used just one set of rubber, and some used six tyres, and the best of the team's representatives was Nikita Troitskiy in 12th place.

Once more the British team is down to five cars, with recent GP3 newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco again standing down from an F3 weekend. The team does not expect him to return.

Provisional race one grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Guanyu Zhou PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m28.861s -
2 Ralf Aron PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.004s 0.143s
3 Mick Schumacher PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.075s 0.214s
4 Marcus Armstrong PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.123s 0.262s
5 Dan Ticktum Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.178s 0.317s
6 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.334s 0.473s
7 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.382s 0.521s
8 Alex Palou Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.407s 0.546s
9 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.473s 0.612s
10 Ben Hingeley Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.483s 0.622s
11 Fabio Scherer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.570s 0.709s
12 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.628s 0.767s
13 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.635s 0.774s
14 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.716s 0.855s
15 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m29.739s 0.878s
16 Sebastian Fernandez Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.909s 1.048s
17 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.914s 1.053s
18 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m29.948s 1.087s
19 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m30.170s 1.309s
20 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m30.263s 1.402s
21 Julian Hanses ma-con Dallara/Volkswagen 1m30.331s 1.470s
22 Enaam Ahmed Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m30.700s 1.839s
23 Sophia Florsch Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m30.853s 1.992s
24 Petru Florescu Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 1m31.167s 2.306s

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