Gabriele Mini has claimed pole position for the Formula 3 Feature race this weekend ahead of fellow rookie Gabriel Bortoleto in a highly competitive qualifying session.
With thirty cars in the field, jostling for track position was inevitable as the session got underway with drivers opting for two build-laps in their search for tyre and brake temperature.
Nikita Bedrin won the fight for track position but a snap at turn four saw his time deleted. All eyes were on Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto. The Brazilian rookie had set the pace in pre-season testing and practice earlier in the day. Despite going top, Bortoleto’s lap time was later deleted for a track limits violation.
At the halfway point, Gabriele Mini sat atop the timing sheets some six-tenths ahead of Hitech teammate and Red Bull Junior Sebastian Montoya.
The Prema trio hadn’t posted any competitive times until they all popped up into the top five briefly, with Zak O’Sullivan the fastest of the team, and the session.
Lap times were starting to tumble as the track became cleaner. Caio Collet then went fastest ahead of O’Sullivan, Gregoire Saucy, Franco Colapinto and Mini. The top five were separated by just two-tenths of a second with 10 minutes to go.
The Hitech’s made the most of a track that was getting faster with every lap turned. Mini reclaimed provisional pole, 3-tenths ahead of Montoya while Luke Browning jumped to fourth.
Mini improved again by another half-a-tenth to try and increase his lead but the lap put him out of sync with the rest of the field. O’Sullivan looked to be the best bet to beat Mini but the Prema driver threw away his lap with a slide in the final sector and would have to settle for P10.
Gabriele Mini survived a dramatic final few minutes with Bortoleto just 0.06s slower in second place which means an all-rookie front row for the feature race. Saucy qualified third ahead of Oliver Goethe and Hugh Barter rounding out the top 5. The Prema trio were almost inseparable, just two-tenths off the pace of Mini, but that was only good enough for 8th. 9th, 10th headed by Beganovic.
The all-important front row for tomorrow’s Sprint Race goes to Campos’ Pepe Marti and VAR’s Caio Collet
Leave a Reply