Leclerc flies to third pole in Monza

Charles LeClerc
Charles LeClerc

Scuderia Ferrari Team Development driver Charles Leclerc claimed his third pole of the GP3 season at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza this morning: the Monegasque’s best laptime of 1:38.546 was one tenth quicker than Arden International’s Jake Dennis. Renault Academy’s Jack Aitken made it two Arden drivers in the top three after an eventful qualifying session in Italy.

Dennis was first to lap into the 1m39’s followed by Leclerc who bettered his time by two tenths. ART Grand Prix’s and McLaren protégé Nyck de Vries then headed to the top of the timesheet with DAMS’ Jake Hughes up to third.

Dennis reclaimed provisional pole by 0.020s over the Dutchman with the drivers posting several hot laps before returning to the pitlane at the midway point of the session for new Pirelli rubber. As the drivers waited in the pitlane, Dennis led from De Vries, Aitken, Hughes and Giuliano Alesi

The final seven minutes of the session were very busy with all of the drivers desperate to get a good position on track to get a tow. There was contact between Trident’s Artur Janosz and Jenzer Motorsport’s Arjun Maini, which resulted in the Indian having to pit for a new front wing. Kevin Jörg also had to pit for a replacement front wing after contact with De Vries.

The session was red flagged when Ferrari Driver Academy’s Alesi stopped on track with technical gremlins. Aitken had taken P1 at this point ahead of title contender Alexander Albon. As the checkered flag was waved, Dennis shot back to the top of the timings but just for a matter of seconds before Haas F1 Team tester Leclerc found some extra pace to lap one tenth quicker than the Briton to snatch pole in the final seconds.

Leclerc’s pole has earned him four more points in the battle for the GP3 crown, whilst the Arden duo of Dennis and Aitken will be eager to show off their tire management skills and fight for victory with the Monegasque ace. Albon qualified fourth; with Hughes in fifth, however the Brit has a three place grid penalty from Spa-Francorchamps. Jörg, Nirei Fukuzumi, Antonio Fuoco, De Vries and Ralph Boschung complete the top ten with the Koiranen GP driver also having to serve a grid penalty from Hockenheim.

Race 1 takes place today at 17.15 (GMT+2).

Qualifying*

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Charles Leclerc

ART Grand Prix

1:38.546

12

2.

Jake Dennis

Arden International

1:38.712

12

3.

Jack Aitken

Arden International

1:38.729

11

4.

Alexander Albon

ART Grand Prix

1:38.847

11

5.

Jake Hughes*

DAMS

1:38.850

11

6.

Kevin Jörg

DAMS

1:38.872

11

7.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:38.878

11

8.

Antonio Fuoco

Trident

1:38.879

12

9.

Nyck de Vries

ART Grand Prix

1:38.885

10

10.

Ralph Boschung**

Koiranen GP

1:38.945

12

11.

Alex Palou

Campos Racing

1:39.045

12

12.

Sandy Stuvik

Trident

1:39.084

12

13.

Matevos Isaakyan

Koiranen GP

1:39.255

12

14.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:39.268

12

15.

Tatiana Calderon

Arden International

1:39.286

12

16.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:39.377

11

17.

Matthew Parry

Koiranen GP

1:39.430

13

18.

Steijn Schothorst

Campos Racing

1:39.439

11

19.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

1:39.535

11

20.

Akash Nandy

Jenzer Motorsport

1:39.558

12

21.

Artur Janosz

Trident

1:39.869

12

22.

Konstantin Tereschenko

Campos Racing

1:40.216

11

*3 place grid-penalty after Spa-Francorchamps Race 2

**3 place grid penalty after Hockenheim Race 2

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