Trident’s Jack Doohan cut his title deficit down to 39 points after taking pole position for Sunday’s 2021 F3 Russian Feature Race, following late transponder drama across the grid.
Caio Collet was quickest in Practice but Doohan ultimately pulled it out of the bag in a chaotic Qualifying, albeit aided by a steward correction after transponder issues hindered the timing sheets during the final runs as his Trident teammate – Clement Novalak looked to had snatched pole position for Sunday’s Feature Race.
Race One was also brought forward to later this afternoon due to unpredictable weather forecast for tomorrow, with the race set to start at 5:25pm local time (3:25pm BST UK Time).
Now here is a full roundup of F3 Practice and Qualifying.
A slow start to F3 Practice in Sochi saw several drivers opt for installation laps as ART GP’s Aleksandr Smolyar set the initial pace, before Arthur Leclerc and Jonny Edgar featured amongst those who displaced the Russian as everyone else got up to full speed.
Juan Manuel Correa went top in the 12th minute ahead of Collet by 0.186 seconds with the Brazilian quickly bumped down by Leclerc, Doohan, Olli Caldwell and Dennis Hauger just minutes later.
Collet though stormed to the top of the timesheet in the 16th minute with a 1m 54.682 ahead of Clement Novalak by 0.780s, with the pair heading Logan Sargeant, Victor Martins and Frederik Vesti at the halfway point.
Leclerc and Hauger soon afterwards improved to third and fourth ahead of final runs which saw carnage unfold in the final sector, as almost every car decided to back one another up as they tried to find space for their last flying laps of the session.
Collet ultimately found 0.595s on his previous best lap time as he topped Practice ahead of MP Motorsport and Alpine Academy teammate, Victor Martins who was just 0.083s slower than the Brazilian.
Vesti, Ayumu Iwasa, Matteo Nannini, Novalak, Sargeant, Hauger, Oliver Rasmussen and Leclerc rounded out the top ten, as Doohan stopped out on track after the checkered flag.
|1||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||1m 54.087|
|2||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||+ 0.083|
|3||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 0.297|
|4||Ayumu Iwasa||Hitech GP||+ 0.302|
|5||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||+ 0.308|
|6||Clement Novalak||Trident||+ 0.333|
|7||Logan Sargeant||Charouz||+ 0.339|
|8||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.376|
|9||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA Racelab||+ 0.421|
|10||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 0.504|
|11||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||+ 0.514|
|12||Jack Doohan||Trident||+ 0.568|
|13||Roman Stanek||Hitech GP||+ 0.576|
|14||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||+ 0.596|
|15||Calan Williams||Jenzer||+ 0.606|
|16||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer||+ 0.752|
|17||Olli Caldwell||PREMA||+ 0.754|
|18||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 0.884|
|19||David Schumacher||Trident||+ 0.920|
|20||Jonny Edgar||Carlin||+ 1.077|
|21||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos||+ 1.158|
|22||Tijmen Van Der Helm||MP Motorsport||+ 1.346|
|23||Kaylen Frederick||Carlin||+ 1.595|
|24||Ido Cohen||Carlin||+ 1.896|
|25||Laszlo Toth||Campos||+ 1.927|
|26||Amaury Cordeel||Campos||+ 1.933|
|27||Filip Ugran||Jenzer||+ 2.497|
|28||Rafael Villagomez||HWA Racelab||+ 2.545|
|29||Ayrton Simmons||Charouz||+ 2.594|
|30||Zdenek Chovanec||Charouz||+ 2.995|
Doohan led the field out for the opening runs as several drivers opted for multiple warmup laps but Novalak and Caldwell complained about Doohan’s warmup tactics, which forced the chasing pack to bunch up together instead of finding space.
Caio Collet however was the driver who emerged quickest from the first flying laps with 1m 55.131 as the session was red flagged just eight minutes into the session, after Jonny Edgar crashed at Turn 15.
The session resumed seven minutes later with Doohan quickly lighting up the timing sheet on his second flier on his first set of tyres, as the Aussie went top with 1m 54.927 ahead of Collet and Vesti.
Novalak though looked to had pulled off a last-gasp Feature Race pole on his final flier of the session with 1m 54.648 to deny Trident teammate – Doohan four vital points in his title fight with Hauger, until transponder issues saw the Qualifying classification corrected post-session.
Doohan consequently was handed pole position with 1m 54.514 ahead of Novalak in a Trident front-row lock out for Sunday’s Feature Race with Jenzer’s Johnathan Hoggard lining up third ahead of Vesti, Correa, Lorenzo Colombo, Smolyar and Collet.
Hauger will start ninth ahead of Jak Crawford, Sargeant and Martins with the top 12 set to be reversed for Race One which will now be held later today at 5:25pm local time (3:25pm BST UK Time), owing to unpredictable weather forecast for Saturday (25 September).
Doohan meanwhile has trimmed his championship deficit to 39 points but Hauger can wrap up the title if he outscores his title rival later today in the opening race.
|1||Jack Doohan||Trident||1m 54.514|
|2||Clement Novalak||Trident||+ 0.134|
|3||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer||+ 0.173|
|4||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 0.198|
|5||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 0.241|
|6||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos||+ 0.245|
|7||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||+ 0.251|
|8||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+ 0.258|
|9||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.312|
|10||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||+ 0.339|
|11||Logan Sargeant||Charouz||+ 0.345|
|12||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||+ 0.445|
|13||Roman Stanek||Hitech GP||+ 0.463|
|14||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 0.575|
|15||Olli Caldwell||PREMA||+ 0.637|
|16||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA Racelab||+ 0.652|
|17||David Schumacher||Trident||+ 0.714|
|18||Ayumu Iwasa||Hitech GP||+ 0.788|
|19||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||+ 0.905|
|20||Amaury Cordeel||Campos||+ 0.952|
|21||Calan Williams||Jenzer||+ 0.989|
|22||Kaylen Frederick||Carlin||+ 1.166|
|23||Rafael Villagomez||HWA Racelab||+ 1.493|
|24||Filip Ugran||Jenzer||+ 1.749|
|25||Tijmen Van Der Helm||MP Motorsport||+ 2.011|
|26||Ayrton Simmons||Charouz||+ 2.013|
|27||Laszlo Toth||Campos||+ 2.086|
|28||Ido Cohen||Carlin||+ 2.515|
|29||Zdenek Chovanec||Charouz||+ 2.650|
|30||Jonny Edgar||Carlin||No Time Set|