Monza F3: Force India protege Daruvala claims maiden pole

European F3 rookie Jehan Daruvala grabbed his maiden pole position in the series at Monza as the Carlin squad leapt to a 1-2-3 on the final lap.

Monza F3: Force India protege Daruvala claims maiden pole

Free practice pacesetter Callum Ilott was at the top of the times as the chequered flag fell, but the Prema Powerteam driver peeled into the pitlane and Daruvala, Lando Norris and Jake Dennis all leapfrogged him as they crossed the line.

Mumbai racer Daruvala was ecstatic with pole position on a circuit he has always loved.

“I’m quite a fan of this track,” he said. “I had my first pole here in Formula Renault NEC [in 2015] and two front rows in the Eurocup last year, and I was quite positive after free practice this morning.

“We made a few changes for qualifying and it worked well; the car felt good, I was confident and I got a good tow, and that’s important for Monza.

“I could see my delta time was good on the last lap so I didn’t risk too much around Parabolica, but it was good enough for pole – big thanks to the team.”

Norris, who was tucked in nicely behind Ilott in the traffic, felt he was overdriving and making mistakes, so “I took it a bit calmer and just tried to do it fairly good instead of trying to nail it” on the final lap.

He also felt that had Ilott stayed on the track at the end, the extra slipstream could have overcome his 0.030 seconds deficit to Daruvala.

Behind Dennis and Ilott, Ferdinand Habsburg completed a superb session for Carlin, the Austrian ensuring that all four of the Farnham squad’s Dallara-Volkswagens finished in the top five.

Championship leader Joel Eriksson was on top when the session was red-flagged with just over seven minutes remaining owing to a Harrison Newey crash at the Lesmos.

The Motopark-run Swede got to the front of the queue for the restart and failed to improve his time, possibly due to the lack of a slipstream, falling to sixth in the final order.

Guan Yu Zhou took seventh in his Prema car, with Jake Hughes leading the Hitech GP charge in eighth place.

The top 10 was completed by Prema’s Mick Schumacher and the Van Amersfoort Racing machine of Joey Mawson.

The disappointment of the session was 2016 championship runner-up Maximilian Gunther, who appeared to struggle with traffic and ended up 14th fastest.

Qualifying 1 Results:

Pos

Driver                        

Team

Time

Delay

1

 Jehan Daruvala

Carlin

1'44.105

 

2

 Lando Norris

Carlin

1'44.135

0.030

3

 Jake Dennis

Carlin

1'44.202

0.097

4

 Callum Ilott

Prema

1'44.370

0.265

5

 Ferdinand Habsburg 

Carlin

1'44.552

0.447

6

 Joel Eriksson

Motopark

1'44.554

0.449

7

 Guan Yu Zhou

Prema

1'44.694

0.589

8

 Jake Hughes

Hitech

1'44.922

0.817

9

 Mick Schumacher

Prema

1'44.925

0.820

10

 Joey Mawson

Van Amersfoort 

1'44.996

0.891

11

 Nikita Mazepin

Hitech

1'45.006

0.901

12

 Marino Sato

Motopark

1'45.011

0.906

13

 Pedro Piquet

Van Amersfoort

1'45.142

1.037

14

 Maximilian Günther

Prema

1'45.304

1.199

15

 Keyvan Soori

Motopark

1'45.456

1.351

16

 Tadasuke Makino

Hitech

1'45.570

1.465

17

 Ralf Aron

Hitech

1'45.797

1.692

18

 David Beckmann

Van Amersfoort

1'45.894

1.789

19

 Harrison Newey

Van Amersfoort

1'57.543

13.438

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