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PRESS RELEASE/FIA Formula 3 – Photo: supplied

Robert Shwartzman picked up where he left off in pre-season testing, chalking up the first ever FIA Formula 3 pole position in qualifying, at Barcelona, Spain. The PREMA driver’s time of 1:31.975 was set at the death, and saw him finish ahead of ART’s Christian Lundgaard and PREMA Racing teammate Marcus Armstrong.

No sooner had the drivers hit the track, were they hauled back into the pitlane, as Alessio Deledda came to a halt on track and brought out a red flag, succumbing to mechanical gremlins.

The drivers were soon back out on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the times began to fly in, as a number of the thirty cars took a turn at the top. It was Simo Laaksonen who firstly got a go on provisional pole with a time 1:33.322, as Logan Sargeant landed P2 behind him, followed by Lundgaard.

PREMA would then pounce and claim both first and second place, with the quickest time now set at 1:32.597 by Shwartzman, followed by his teammate Jehan Daruvala. Armstrong was next to join the PREMA party, as he wrestled control of fourth place.

Laaksonen and Armstrong both put in strong laps as they looked to claim further places, but they couldn’t get close to the Ferrari Academy driver in P1, while Daruvala strengthened his positon in second by beating his own best time.

Lundgaard briefly succeeded in toppling the rampant Russian and broke up the PREMA one-two with a time of 1:32.083. It wasn’t to last though as Shwartzman upped his game and broke the 1m 32s barrier to land pole position.

With the Russian on pole and Lundgaard behind him, Marcus Armstrong set a blistering late time himself to steal P3, while Daruvala sealed a third top four spot for PREMA. Following that quartet were Sargeant, Laaksonen, David Beckmann, Max Fewtrell, Alex Peroni and Yuki Tsunoda.

Shwartzman will look to maintain first place tomorrow at 10.15am, when the drivers take to the circuit for the maiden FIA Formula 3 race.

1 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 1:31.975 11
2 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:32.083 11
3 Marcus Armstrong PREMA Racing 1:32.427 11
4 Jehan Daruvala PREMA Racing 1:32.529 11
5 Logan Sargeant Carlin Buzz Racing 1:32.660 11
6 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport 1:32.755 13
7 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix 1:32.829 12
8 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix 1:32.857 11
9 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 1:32.863 12
10 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 1:32.875 11
11 Juri Vips Hitech Grand Prix 1:32.876 13
12 Niko Kari Trident 1:32.878 12
13 Pedro Piquet Trident 1:32.880 11
14 Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:32.934 11
15 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1:32.949 12
16 Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:33.010 11
17 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:33.022 11
18 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech Grand Prix 1:33.103 11
19 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport 1:33.150 13
20 Felipe Drugovich Carlin Buzz Racing 1:33.313 12
21 Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:33.430 11
22 Ye Yifei Hitech Grand Prix 1:33.475 12
23 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing 1:33.508 12
24 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident 1:33.545 11
25 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:33.564 11
26 Artem Petrov Jenzer Motorsport 1:33.714 13
27 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport 1:33.962 13
28 Teppei Natori Carlin Buzz Racing 1:34.054 11
29 Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:34.173 11
30 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing


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