With the 2020 Formula Three season now in its final throes, everyone headed to Monza, Italy for the penultimate round with Friday’s action proving eventful.
Traffic was an issue last season which resulted in a curtailed Qualifying but once again reared its head in a dramatic conclusion to this year’s Italian Qualifying session which resulted in a maiden pole position for Theo Pourchaire.
Now here is a full roundup of Friday’s F3 action at Monza.
Trident duo of Lirim Zendeli and David Beckmann were first out on track as several drivers soon followed, although times slowly began to tumble with Jake Hughes eventually setting the initial pace in the 12th minute with a 1m 40.318 before improving to 1m 39.374 on his next effort.
Several drivers then traded top five positions but come the halfway point of this 45 minute Practice session, Hughes led from Frederik Vesti, Matteo Nannini, Jack Doohan and Theo Pourchaire.
Sebastien Fernandez then Liam Lawson however quickly proceeded to knock Hughes off the timesheet only for Logan Sargeant to go quickest with a 1m 38.840 until Beckmann produced a 1m 38.674 just a minute later.
Sargeant soon hit back with a 1m 38.604 to reclaim top spot but the final few minutes saw everyone attempt qualifying simulations on mix of medium and soft tyres, with David Schumacher emerging fastest ahead of Beckmann and Doohan as 0.294 seconds separated the trio ahead of Sargeant and Olli Caldwell.
Clement Novalak saw his fastest lap time of 1m 38.161 deleted for track limits immediately post session to demote him to ninth, whilst Pierre-Louis Chovet was the only driver to experience a spin on the exit of Variante which briefly caused the Frenchman to stall his Hitech GP car.
Pourchaire meanwhile managed 14th at the flag after encountering several impediments by slower cars throughout the second half of this session.
Zendeli concluded the session by coming to a halt on his way back to the F3 paddock with a technical issue on run to Ascari chicane.
Lirim Zendeli was first driver out on track as everyone headed out looking for space whilst ensuring that they could get a tow along the straights on their flying laps.
Hughes and Beckmann initially traded fastest laps during the opening runs but come the 16th minute, it was Beckmann who led from Vesti, Nannini, Pourchaire and Hughes split by 0.135s, with the top 19 all covered by 0.981s as everyone made the traditional mid session pit stop.
Chovet was first back out but the session was stopped in the 22nd minute to allow for the removal of a radiator fan from Liam Lawson’s Hitech GP car, after it detached itself on the run towards Curve Grande. Lawson therefore was put under investigation by stewards for an unsafe release.
Once the session resumed, traffic became a huge issue with several front runners including Vesti and Hughes caught out on their flying laps.
Pourchaire meanwhile managed to get space and a tow on both of his attempts as he eventually clinched a maiden F3 pole with 1m 37.301 ahead of Zendeli, Aleksandr Smolyar and Lawson, although several drivers including Pourchaire are under investigation for a variety of traffic related incidents.
Championship leader, Sargeant found himself only tenth on the grid for Race One whilst title rival, Oscar Piastri is right behind him after qualifying 12th on the grid.
Post Qualifying Penalties
Following a series post Qualifying investigations, Lawson has inherited pole ahead of Nannini and Hughes as Pourchaire has been demoted five grid positions for driving unnecessarily slowly on the run to Parabolica.
Beckmann, Olli Caldwell, Sebastien Fernandez and Pierre-Louis Chovet have also been handed five place penalties for the same offence, meaning that Beckmann drops to tenth, whilst Caldwell and Fernandez will start from 20th and 16th respectively with Chovet starting at the back in 30th position.
Zendeli has received a ten place grid drop after being served two sets of five place penalties for driving unnecessarily slowly and impeding Liam Lawson at Turn Two, although other penalties means that the German will start 12th.
Smolyar was hit with an eight place drop of which five grid places were penalised for driving unnecessarily slowly towards Parabolica then a further three places for same offence but at Turn Two too, leaving the Russian ART GP driver 11th on grid.
PREMA’s Piastri and Vesti were both handed three place grid penalties for impeding Hughes by driving unnecessarily slowly and will therefore start from 15th and ninth respectively.
The top ten grid positions for Race One is therefore as follows; Lawson, Nannini, Hughes, Calan Williams, Sargeant, Pourchaire, Igor Fraga, Alex Peroni, Vesti and Beckmann.
|1||David Schumacher||Carlin||1m 38.096|
|2||David Beckmann||Trident||+ 0.238|
|3||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||+ 0.294|
|4||Logan Sargeant||Prema||+ 0.421|
|5||Olli Caldwell||Trident||+ 0.425|
|6||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+ 0.426|
|7||Cameron Das||Carlin||+ 0.490|
|8||Roman Stanek||Charouz||+ 0.492|
|9||Clement Novalak||Carlin||+ 0.520|
|10||Lirim Zendeli||Trident||+ 0.601|
|11||Frederik Vesti||Prema||+ 0.657|
|12||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||+ 0.724|
|13||Michael Belov||Charouz||+ 0.761|
|14||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 0.766|
|15||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+ 0.776|
|16||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||+ 0.823|
|17||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||+ 0.841|
|18||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||+ 0.847|
|19||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+ 0.868|
|20||Igor Fraga||Charouz||+ 0.891|
|21||Oscar Piastri||Prema||+ 0.959|
|22||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+ 0.963|
|23||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||+ 1.076|
|24||Alex Peroni||Campos||+ 1.093|
|25||Frederico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 1.315|
|26||Sophia Floersch||Campos||+ 1.320|
|27||Alessio Deledda||Campos||+ 1.379|
|28||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||+ 1.551|
|29||Calan Williams||Jenzer||+ 1.562|
|30||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||+ 2.078|
|1||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||1m 37.301|
|2||Lirim Zendeli||Trident||+ 0.451|
|3||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||+ 0.487|
|4||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+ 0.487|
|5||David Beckmann||Trident||+ 0.508|
|6||Frederik Vesti||Prema||+ 0.714|
|7||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||+ 0.735|
|8||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||+ 0.750|
|9||Calan Williams||Jenzer||+ 0.763|
|10||Logan Sargeant||Prema||+ 0.794|
|11||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||+ 0.841|
|12||Oscar Piastri||Prema||+ 0.897|
|13||Igor Fraga||Charouz||+ 0.914|
|14||Alex Peroni||Campos||+ 0.936|
|15||Olli Caldwell||Trident||+ 1.042|
|16||Roman Stanek||Charouz||+ 1.230|
|17||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+ 1.282|
|18||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+ 1.383|
|19||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||+ 1.389|
|20||Michael Belov||Charouz||+ 1.422|
|21||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||+ 1.499|
|22||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+ 1.541|
|23||Frederico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 1.564|
|24||Clement Novalak||Carlin||+ 1.596|
|25||Sophia Floersch||Campos||+ 1.721|
|26||Cameron Das||Carlin||+ 1.776|
|27||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||+ 1.872|
|28||Alessio Deledda||Campos||+ 2.147|
|29||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||+ 2.178|
|30||David Schumacher||Carlin||+ 2.193|