Lando Norris will be seated in the best position of the grid for today’s second qualifying session for the F3 World Cup race after obtaining the best time in yesterday’s first qualifying session.
The session was marred by several accidents on track leading to multiple interruptions. The last incident caused a delay of over 45 minutes after which barely 11 minutes of the session remained.
The delay was caused by an accident at the Fishermen’s Bend that caused severe damage to the security barriers. On-track staff first attempted to fix the barriers, but after inspection, it was deemed necessary to proceed with a full replacement of the affected materials. Lengthy repair operations ultimately delayed the program for the day.
In the part of the session that counted towards the qualifying results, the F3 European Champion, Lando Norris, justified his merits as a favorite by bringing his Dallara-Volkswagen to the top with a best lap of 2:11.570 precisely on the last of its 11 laps to the circuit.
Behind Norris sits Brazilian Pedro Piquet, one of the surprises of the session, clocking 0.912 of a second more than Norris.
The third best place was held by another of the favorites, German racer Maximilian Gunther from Theodore, who placed the second Dallara-Mercedes in the third highest ranking.
The second surprise of the session was Daniel Ticktum, the man from Motopark with VEB, who managed to put his Dallara-Volkswagen in fourth and right in front of his teammate and another favorite, Joel Eriksson who made his best lap only in 2:13.637, that is, over two seconds slower than Norris.
In sixth place is the first Japanese participant, Yuhi Sekiguchi, driving the first B-Max Racing for Team Dallara-Volkswagen. Sekiguchi’s performance was an expected one, although it was predicted that his teammate Kenta Yamashita would be the first car from the team. In fact, that was very far from happening as Yamashita only managed to place 11th in the session, clocking his best lap with a time of 2:14.281, almost three seconds behind Norris.
With this result, Norris seems to have an open path to an easier race than initially expected, however, the many interruptions of yesterday’s session might also have given the wrong impression.
A second qualifying race will be held today at 3:25 p.m. (provisional time), when all these drivers will have a second chance on track, hopefully with fewer interruptions.