F3: Leclerc takes maiden pole ahead of Hauger in Budapest

Arthur Leclerc enjoyed a dramatic turn of form in Qualifying, beating Championship leader Dennis Hauger to first place in Budapest for his maiden pole position. The Monegasque had never previously qualified higher than ninth, but soared to P1 at the Hungaroring with a 1:33.164. Hauger missed out by just 0.089s, while Trident’s Jack Doohan was only 0.096s off himself.

With track temperature reaching 64 degrees, as well as the rubber laid down by Formula 1’s first free practice, the cars headed out into vastly different conditions than the morning’s opening session.

Doohan topped the first set of push laps, although the Trident racer’s time was seven-tenths off the quickest lap in Free Practice. Championship leader Hauger nestled into second, with Amaury Cordeel impressively making it into the top three.

As the majority of the field headed into the pits for a change of rubber, the second Campos of Lorenzo Colombo remained out and squeezed another push lap out of his Pirellis. The Italian had never previously qualified inside of the top 10, but managed to steal first from Doohan, with 1:33.805.

Arthur Leclerc during qualifying ahead of Round 4:Budapest of the Formula 3 Championship at Hungaroring on July 30, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Colombo dropped down to P10 when the field returned from the pits and gave the order a shake-up.

Leclerc had spoken about his need to improve in Qualifying on several occasions and the PREMA racer was delivering on this target at Budapest, leaping to provisional pole from outside of the top 10 with a lap of 1:33.164. Though, the Monegasque did have a three-place grid drop hanging over his head from Round 3, which would affect the opening race – but crucially, not Race 3.

Trident’s trio of drivers were up to second, third and fourth, with Doohan bettering David Schumacher and Clément Novalak for pace.

With three minutes on the clock, there was plenty of time for another tour of the Hungaroring, but the field were struggling to improve.

Jack Doohan (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Jonny Edgar was amongst the few to punch in a better lap, jumping to 12th, to secure reverse grid pole for Race 1. Ayumu Iwasa was another to find further time in the dying minutes, taking P10 and dropping Colombo down to P11.

Hauger had one final attempt at beating his teammate to pole and despite struggling for grip, the Norwegian was able to haul his PREMA up to second place with seconds to spare.

Trident’s trio all dropped a place following Hauger’s late lap, while the fastest man from Free Practice, Alex Smolyar, beat his ART Grand Prix teammate, Frederik Vesti to sixth. Logan Sargeant finished in eighth ahead of Olli Caldwell.

Edgar will start ahead of Colombo in Saturday’s reverse grid Race 1, which takes place at 10.35am local time.

Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Arthur Leclerc Prema Powerteam 11 1m33.164s 0.000s
2 Dennis Hauger Prema Powerteam 11 1m33.253s 0.089s
3 Jack Doohan Trident 12 1m33.260s 0.096s
4 David Schumacher Trident 12 1m33.284s 0.120s
5 Clement Novalak Trident 12 1m33.331s 0.167s
6 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 12 1m33.429s 0.265s
7 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix 12 1m33.449s 0.285s
8 Logan Sargeant Charouz Racing System 12 1m33.632s 0.468s
9 Olli Caldwell Prema Powerteam 11 1m33.704s 0.540s
10 Ayumu Iwasa HitechGP 11 1m33.777s 0.613s
11 Lorenzo Colombo Campos Racing 10 1m33.805s 0.641s
12 Jonny Edgar Carlin 12 1m33.878s 0.714s
13 Matteo Nannini HWA AG 10 1m34.004s 0.840s
14 Juan Manuel Correa ART Grand Prix 12 1m34.022s 0.858s
15 Roman Staněk HitechGP 11 1m34.025s 0.861s
16 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 12 1m34.037s 0.873s
17 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System 12 1m34.071s 0.907s
18 Jake Hughes Carlin 12 1m34.113s 0.949s
19 Amaury Cordeel Campos Racing 11 1m34.124s 0.960s
20 Tijmen van MP Motorsport 13 1m34.242s 1.078s
21 Oliver Rasmussen HWA AG 11 1m34.250s 1.086s
22 Jak Crawford HitechGP 11 1m34.256s 1.092s
23 Johnathan Hoggard Jenzer Motorsport 12 1m34.385s 1.221s
24 Victor Martins MP Motorsport 13 1m34.518s 1.354s
25 Caio Collet MP Motorsport 13 1m34.585s 1.421s
26 Ido Cohen Carlin 12 1m34.614s 1.450s
27 Reshad de Charouz Racing System 12 1m34.787s 1.623s
28 Rafael Villagómez HWA AG 11 1m34.887s 1.723s
29 László Tóth Campos Racing 12 1m34.916s 1.752s
30 Filip Ugran Jenzer Motorsport 12 1m35.068s 1.904s