Spa F3: Zendeli takes maiden pole in rain-hit qualifying

Lirim Zendeli earned his maiden FIA Formula 3 pole position after topping a qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps that was effectively prematurely ended by a mid-session rain shower.

The session was red-flagged after just eight minutes when FIA F3 debutant Michael Belov spun his Charouz Racing System machine backwards into the barriers at Pouhon. 

Only nine of the 30 drivers had posted a representative lap time at that stage, with Trident’s Zendeli the fastest of them on a 2m05.393s.  

ART Grand Prix duo Theo Pourchaire and Alexander Smolyar completed the top three, with championship protagonists Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri without a proper lap time and well outside the top 15.   

When the session resumed it was Prema’s Sargeant who was able to get closest to the top three with the fourth quickest time of the session, albeit six-tenths slower than Zendeli’s benchmark.  

The top three remained unchallenged as the cars returned to the pits to prepare for their final runs but a rain shower left little chance of improvements despite the majority of drivers attempting to set a lap in the damp conditions.  

This ensured 20-year-old Zendeli, who was denied a maiden FIA F3 win at Silverstone by less than two tenths, claimed his first pole in the series.  

ART Grand Prix’s Pourchaire and Smolyar complete the top three on the grid, ahead of championship leader Sargeant – his worst qualifying position since the season-opener at the Red Bull Ring.  

Zendeli’s teammate David Beckmann qualified in fifth place ahead of 2019 Macau Grand Prix winner Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) and Red Bull junior Liam Lawson.  

Renault junior Oscar Piastri, who sits just one point behind his Prema teammate Sargeant in the drivers’ championship, was forced to settle for eighth place ahead of the third Prema-run entry of Frederik Vesti.  

Campos Racing’s Alexander Peroni rounded out the top 10 fastest drivers in the session.  

HWA’s Jake Hughes was frustrated to only qualify in 12th place after his teammate Jack Doohan – who qualified 13th on the grid – had topped practice on Friday morning.  

“Where the hell has my pace gone?” Hughes fumed on the radio after his opening run. 

David Schumacher qualified in 22nd for this first weekend with Carlin following his switch from Charouz.  

FIA F3 debutant Pierre-Louis Chovet endured a tricky maiden F3 qualifying session, recording the slowest representative lap time in 27th for Hitech Grand Prix.  

Spa F3 – Qualifying results:

110 Lirim Zendeli Trident 2’05.393  
27 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 2’05.596 0.203
38 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 2’05.807 0.414
43 Logan Sargeant Prema Powerteam 2’06.079 0.686
511 David Beckmann Trident 2’06.112 0.719
617 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 2’06.144 0.751
75 Liam Lawson HitechGP 2’06.172 0.779
81 Oscar Piastri Prema Powerteam 2’06.206 0.813
92 Frederik Vesti Prema Powerteam 2’06.315 0.922
1029 Alexander Peroni Campos Racing 2’06.413 1.020
1112 Olli Caldwell Trident 2’06.444 1.051
1215 Jake Hughes HWA AG 2’06.468 1.075
1316 Jack Doohan HWA AG 2’06.505 1.112
1422 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 2’06.588 1.195
1514 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA AG 2’06.758 1.365
169 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 2’06.867 1.474
1721 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 2’06.999 1.606
1824 Igor Fraga Charouz Racing System 2’07.245 1.852
1919 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 2’07.504 2.111
2031 Andreas Estner Campos Racing 2’07.510 2.117
2120 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 2’07.530 2.137
2227 David Schumacher Carlin 2’07.698 2.305
2326 Clement Novalak Carlin 2’07.972 2.579
2423 Roman Staněk Charouz Racing System 2’08.358 2.965
2528 Cameron Das Carlin 2’08.553 3.160
2630 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 2’08.767 3.374
274Pierre-Louis Chovet HitechGP 2’08.981 3.588
2818 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 2’20.969 15.576
296 Dennis Hauger HitechGP  
3025Michael Belov Charouz Racing System  
View full results

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