Aitken grabs pole in Budapest

Written by | Photo: Fanni Váradi

Saturday morning started with the GP3 Qualifying session in sunny conditions on the Hungarian circuit. All the grid were out on track right after the green lights went on.

First Jack Aitken set a quickest lap what was beaten soon by his teammate Nirei Fukuzumi. The first position was swapping between the four ART Grand Prix drivers for a while.

Everybody was able to run competitive laps on the 4381 meters long track as they had a midseason test recently in Hungary last month. Campos Racing’s Raoul Hyman showed his quickness during the free practice, with finishing second behind George Russell. The South African driver run quickest sectors on different laps, but was not able to string them together. Dorian Boccolacci put his fellows under pressure with improving continuously his speed during the qualifying.

The session went without problems for a while with all drivers setting quicker laps over the 30 minutes long session. When only 5 minutes left Jack Aitken run a fastest lap of 1:31.754 expecting his lap to be beaten in the end.

When most of the drivers were about to improve themselves and set their own second quick lap just before the end, Arjun Maini was struck due to mechanical issues at the first corner.

Firstly, the yellow flags came, which made everyone slow down, taking away the chance for a last fast lap. As the number 24 Jenzer car was in a bad place, yellow flags got replaced by red to stop the session with 2 minutes remaining.

The decision was made to close the qualifying early. The session was brought to a halt to the disappointment of most of the drivers with not having chance to show their real speed on their quickest laps before the red flags were brought out.

This made the lucky Renault development driver, Aitken claiming pole position ahead of his ART teammates, the championship leader George Russell and Nirei Fukuzumi.

The Briton was happy with his second pole of the season: “The car was good, I was good, so it was really nice, a good feeling! I don’t know whether I would have been quicker on the second lap but the chances of a red flag are high here, so it’s always important to be quickest on the first lap as well” said Aitken in the press conference after the qualifying.

Raoul Hyman and the grid’s new driver Matthieu Vasiviére were both given a 3 places grid penalty for impeding rivals during the session. This dropped the Campos driver to P18, while the Frenchman will wait for red lights to go off from the pitlane during race 1.

Qualifying Classification

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:31.754 12
2. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:31.936 12
3. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:32.009 12
4. Dorian Boccolacci Trident 1:32.307 13
5. Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1:32.308 12
6. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:32.435 12
7. Niko Kari Arden International 1:32.438 13
8. Kevin Jörg Trident 1:32.647 12
9. Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:32.701 12
10. Tatiana Calderon DAMS 1:32.738 14
11. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:32.795 12
12. Steijn Schothorst Arden International 1:32.800 13
13. Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1:32.880 12
14. Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 1:32.956 11
15. Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 1:33.090 10
16. Julien Falchero Campos Racing 1:33.269 12
17. Bruno Baptista DAMS 1:33.274 12
18. Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 1:33.427 11
19. Matthieu Vaxivière DAMS 1:33.615 12
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