Ocon claims his ninth pole position
Esteban Ocon set the quickest time in 1:26.530 for Prema Powerteam in first qualifying upon the debut of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 3.931 kilometres long Moscow Raceway. The 17-year-old French Lotus F1 junior driver was 0.619 seconds faster than British driver Jordan King (Carlin) who ended up second. King’s compatriot Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Dutchman Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) claimed third and fourth place respectively.
With eight minutes remaining, Ocon was still down in 20th place, but then moved straight up onto the top of the leaderboard with his first flying lap. After that, he improved his own fastest time twice and concluded the session with a margin of more than half a second from King. For rookie driver Ocon, this is his ninth pole position of the current FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.
Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Jake Dennis (Carlin), Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing), Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) ended up in fifth to tenth position.