Hubert clinches maiden pole in Silverstone qualifying

Anthoine Hubert secured his first ever GP3 Series pole in Qualifying at Silverstone, Great Britain, clocking in a 1:46.033 to beat ART Grand Prix teammate Nikita Mazepin to the top of the timing boards. Giuliano Alesi of Trident completed the top three, setting his quickest laptime in the dying moments of the session.

As Silverstone’s sunny weather began to cool in the late afternoon, Ryan Tveter brought the running underway followed by Trident teammate Pedro Piquet, and ART pair Jake Hughes and Hubert, and the American set the opening timed lap in the 1m57s during the initial warmup phase. Piquet was the first to set a representative lap – going over ten seconds quicker – before quickly being jostled out of the top by all four ART drivers.

Alessio Lorandi then vaulted above the ART quartet to go first, and a challenge from Niko Kari came to naught after the Finn went wide at Copse corner and lost time. Hughes then pipped Lorandi by fractions of a second, before Tveter went briefly went quickest. Callum Ilott then leapfrogged the Trident driver, and was quickly followed by Hughes – who fell short of his teammate’s time by just one hundredth of a second.

Before the cars pulled into the pits to bolt on fresh tires, Hubert squeaked ahead of his ART stablemates to collect the first lap time in the 1m46s. After the session’s short hiatus in running, Leonardo Pulcini and Juan Manuel Correa were first to go for runs on their new hard compound tires – and the former leaped to the top of the standings despite going wide at Copse corner.

Ilott then returned to the top, dispatching Pulcini before he was quickly usurped by Mazepin. The Russian was displaced by Hubert seconds later, who set a 1:46.033 with a trio of purple sectors to leave a solid benchmark heading into the final runs of the session. Mazepin and Ilott improved on their times, but remained second and third as Hubert’s time proved insurmountable. At the checkered flag, Alesi’s fastest first sector wasn’t enough to clear Hubert from provisional pole – the Trident driver ending qualifying in third.

Ilott remained fourth, as Tveter and Lorandi captured the third row for Trident. Dorian Boccolacci was seventh, beating Hughes who was unable to reach the heights of his teammates, as Campos pair Pulcini and Simo Laaksonen rounded out the top ten.

Hubert’s pole brings him to within two points of championship leader Ilott and, with the top 12 all within a second, tomorrow’s Race 1 promises to be an exciting affair.

Provisional Qualifying Results

Pos

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

1

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:46.033

13

2

Nikita Mazepin

ART Grand Prix

1:46.135

13

3

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:46.271

13

4

Callum Ilott

ART Grand Prix

1:46.348

13

5

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:46.705

10

6

Alessio Lorandi

Trident

1:46.706

12

7

Dorian Boccolacci

MP Motorsport

1:46.710

13

8

Jake Hughes

ART Grand Prix

1:46.712

13

9

Leonardo Pulcini

Campos Racing

1:46.790

12

10

Simo Laaksonen

Campos Racing

1:46.871

13

11

Pedro Piquet

Trident

1:46.907

12

12

Diego Menchaca

Campos Racing

1:46.987

13

13

Joey Mawson

Arden International

1:47.094

12

14

Julien Falchero

Arden International

1:47.145

12

15

Juan Manuel Correa

Jenzer Motorsport

1:47.159

12

16

David Beckmann

Jenzer Motorsport

1:47.187

11

17

Tatiana Calderon

Jenzer Motorsport

1:47.233

13

18

Devlin DeFrancesco

MP Motorsport

1:47.304

13

19

Niko Kari

MP Motorsport

1:47.311

11

20

Gabriel Aubry

Arden International

1:47.315

12

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