PREMA driver Logan Sargeant dominates in Formula 3 qualifying at Silverstone as championship leader Oscar Piastri suffers mechanical issues.
Temperatures soared once again at Silverstone for Friday Formula 3 Qualifying. Championship leader Oscar Piastri started the session already on the back foot after technical difficulties limited his morning practice to just three laps. Yet, all eyes were on Hitech driver Liam Lawson who performed impressively in practice and looked set to challenge the dominance of the PREMA drivers.
As Qualifying started it was Smolyar who struck first, setting a time of 1:46:7, but this time was quickly beaten by Championship front runners Sargeant and Piastri who moved to lock out the front row of the grid. Challenges were issued by both David Beckmann and Jake Hughes who managed to set times of 1:46:0, however the dominant PREMA pair managed to improve on both their sector and lap times.
Qualifying proved frustrating for Campos Racing driver Sophia Floersch who struggled with mechanical difficulties and as a result will start from the back row of the grid. Another driver who found themselves plagued with issues was Piastri who halted his car near the pit entrance and after a few tense minutes was able to get his car restarted and returned to the pits for a tire change. However, this would not be the end of Piastri’s challenges of the session.
Second half of Qualifying
With 10 minutes to go, most drivers returned to the track with hopes of improving their lap times. Many drivers managed to improve their times with the most impressive of these being Enzo Fittipaldi who found himself in P3 with 5 minutes to go.
As drivers aimed to move their way up the order in the closing stages of the session, Piastri once again found himself in difficulty on the side of the track. As a result, the session was red flagged and all drivers returned to the pits with less than 4 minutes to go.
When Piastri’s car was cleared by Marshall’s, drivers were eventually able to return to the track. The last few minutes therefore saw a flurry of frantic lap improvements with HWA Racelab driver Jake Hughes snatching provisional pole with the PREMA’s of Sargeant and Vesti in hot pursuit.
In a last minute attempt, Sargeant regained pole with an impressive 1:45:0, three tenths ahead of Lawson who soared into P2. Fittipaldi dropped down into P13 after failing to significantly improve his lap time whilst Championship leader Piastri will start from P11.
Here are the top 10 Qualifying times;
1. L. Sargeant PREMA 1:45.063
2. L. Lawson Hitech Grand Prix 1:45.297
3. J. Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:45.407
4. F. Vesti PREMA 1:45.584
5. B. Viscaal MP Motorsport 1:45.597
6. T. Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1:45.630
7. J. Doohan HWA RACELAB 1:45.636
8. D. Beckmann Trident 1:45.678
9. B. Barnicoat Carlin Buzz Racing 1:45.765
10. L. Zendelli Trident 1:45.859
Featured Image Credit: fiaformula3.com