May 19

Callum Ilott claims pole position at Pau

At the foot of the Pyrenees

Callum Ilott claims pole position at PauIn partly sunny, partly overcast conditions, the young drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship battled for the starting grid positions for the seventh race of the season, to be held at the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit in the city of Pau.

Event: 03 Pau
Session: Qualifying 1
Track: Pau / FRA
Pole position: Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny to overcast, 17.5 °C

At the foot of the Pyrenees, Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m09.514s) claimed pole position while rookie driver Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m09.724s) secured second place. Next up on the starting grid behind the two Brits are points’ leader Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m09.882s), last year’s runner-up Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m09:753s), rookie Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m09.907s) and stalwart Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1m09.856s).

Because of the track length of only 2.76 kilometres, qualifying was held in two groups. The driver to post the outright fastest time would be on pole position, with the fastest driver from the slower group second on the grid. The other drivers from the respective groups are following in a straight line behind their fastest driver, meaning that the drivers from one group line up on the left and the driver from the other group line up on the right side of the track.

In the first group, Callum Ilott came out on top and claimed first place. The British driver of the Prema Powerteam topped the time sheets from the very beginning and held on to his position throughout the session. Whenever one of his rivals reduced the gap, Ilott upped the ante as well. Thus, Joel Eriksson, Joey Mawson and Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m09.942s) all took turns in second place. Among the drivers behind Ilott, it was Eriksson who eventually came out on top and claimed second place on the grid. Mawson, Zhou, Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m10.146s), Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m10.258s), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam, 1m10.271s) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m10.350s) followed in third to eighth place in group A.

In group B, Lando Norris was on top around the halfway point, but soon was toppled by Maximilian Günther. Jake Dennis also managed to move ahead of the British McLaren junior driver, who thus found himself in third place only a few minutes before the end of qualifying. Then, however, Norris countered successfully and claimed back first place.

In the closing stages, David Beckmann (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m10.673s) caused an interruption as his car came to a halt on the track. As no driver managed to improve his lap time later on, Norris ended up first in his group. Next up were Günther, Dennis, Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m09.959s), Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m10.439s), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m10.498s), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1m10.634s) and Beckmann.

Eventually, Callum Ilott ended up on pole position for the first race as the fastest driver in group A as his lap time was faster than Norris’s of group B.

Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “I was in the first group and I was among the first to post a lap time as a result. I think I did a good job. I felt really well and didn’t have any issues during qualifying, apart from a yellow flag towards the end of the session. Most of the drivers already headed out on track early, because with the clouds, we weren’t sure whether or not we would be getting some rain again. However, we only had a few drops. Then, we had to wait what the other group would do as conditions for them were similar to ours. It was close, but it turned out to be enough for pole position.”

source: FIA F3, fiaf3europe.com


Prema Powerteam R03 Pau – Qualifying Report

The opening day of the 2017 Pau Grand Prix ended up with a stunning pole by Callum Ilott as the Prema team lined-up at the French track for the third round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The 18-year-old British racer cruised to the lead of his group in qualifying and also secured the overall pole in the process as participants were split to reduce traffic.

Guanyu Zhou and Mick Schumacher also hit the track in the first group. The Chinese Ferrari Driver Academy graduate ended up in fourth place and will start from the seventh place overall while the German, who is having his first taste of a street circuit, ended up seventh in group and will start race 1 from P13.

Lining-up in group 2, Maximilian Günther scored second place after leading the way for most part of the time. Unfortunately the session was disrupted by a red flag which prevented the 19-year-old racer from completing a decisive flying lap. He had to settle for second by less than 0.03s and will start from P4.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“Overall it has been a good qualifying session, I was P1 for a long time but finally missed first position by just three hundreds of a second. I was on a really good lap when the red flag came out and it’s a shame because pole was almost in the pocket. It is what it is though, starting P4 is surely not perfect for tomorrow but we can still do something positive. We know where to work on the car and we are positive regarding our performance.”

# 8 – Guan Yu Zhou
“Qualifying was OK, I was in P4 and quite close to the front but I didn’t manage to put everything together. I was trying quite hard and made some mistakes. In the end P4 in group is not bad, it means P7 for the first race and we will look the data to keep improving for qualifying 2.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“Qualifying was OK thinking it was the first time for me on a street circuit and I am pretty happy with how it ended up. I think we could have done a bit more as the two Hitech cars passed us in the final moments. I will however try to attack the weekend and see what we can do.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“I’m very confident, it’s my third time here so for us it was pretty good to go straight out. I was really comfortable with the car, the Prema team gave me a really good one here at Pau. I just kept improving, then one lap turned out to be really good for me and I ended up P1. Then I had to wait for the other group to do the session and thankfully we still came out on top so it’s been a good day.

source: Prema Powerteam, premapowerteam.com