F3 2020: Italian Grand Prix – Friday

Theo Pourchaire clinched a maiden F3 pole after a frantic qualifying session on an eventful day of action. (Image credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

With the 2020 Formula Three season now in its final throes, everyone headed to Monza, Italy for the penultimate round with Friday’s action proving eventful. 

Traffic was an issue last season which resulted in a curtailed Qualifying but once again reared its head in a dramatic conclusion to this year’s Italian Qualifying session which resulted in a maiden pole position for Theo Pourchaire.

Now here is a full roundup of Friday’s F3 action at Monza.

 

Practice 

David Schumacher topped a chaotic practice session at Monza. (Image credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Trident duo of Lirim Zendeli and David Beckmann were first out on track as several drivers soon followed, although times slowly began to tumble with Jake Hughes eventually setting the initial pace in the 12th minute with a 1m 40.318 before improving to 1m 39.374 on his next effort.

Several drivers then traded top five positions but come the halfway point of this 45 minute Practice session, Hughes led from Frederik Vesti, Matteo Nannini, Jack Doohan and Theo Pourchaire.

Sebastien Fernandez then Liam Lawson however quickly proceeded to knock Hughes off the timesheet only for Logan Sargeant to go quickest with a 1m 38.840 until Beckmann produced a 1m 38.674 just a minute later.

Sargeant soon hit back with a 1m 38.604 to reclaim top spot but the final few minutes saw everyone attempt qualifying simulations on mix of medium and soft tyres, with David Schumacher emerging fastest ahead of Beckmann and Doohan as 0.294 seconds separated the trio ahead of Sargeant and Olli Caldwell.

Clement Novalak saw his fastest lap time of 1m 38.161 deleted for track limits immediately post session to demote him to ninth, whilst Pierre-Louis Chovet was the only driver to experience a spin on the exit of Variante which briefly caused the Frenchman to stall his Hitech GP car.

Pourchaire meanwhile managed 14th at the flag after encountering several impediments by slower cars throughout the second half of this session.

Zendeli concluded the session by coming to a halt on his way back to the F3 paddock with a technical issue on run to Ascari chicane.

 

Qualifying

Theo Pourchaire overcame a dramatic Qualifying session to take his maiden F3 pole position. (Image credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Lirim Zendeli was first driver out on track as everyone headed out looking for space whilst ensuring that they could get a tow along the straights on their flying laps.

Hughes and Beckmann initially traded fastest laps during the opening runs but come the 16th minute, it was Beckmann who led from Vesti, Nannini, Pourchaire and Hughes split by 0.135s, with the top 19 all covered by 0.981s as everyone made the traditional mid session pit stop.

Chovet was first back out but the session was stopped in the 22nd minute to allow for the removal of a radiator fan from Liam Lawson’s Hitech GP car, after it detached itself on the run towards Curve Grande. Lawson therefore was put under investigation by stewards for an unsafe release.

Once the session resumed, traffic became a huge issue with several front runners including Vesti and Hughes caught out on their flying laps.

Pourchaire meanwhile managed to get space and a tow on both of his attempts as he eventually clinched a maiden F3 pole with 1m 37.301 ahead of Zendeli, Aleksandr Smolyar and Lawson, although several drivers including Pourchaire are under investigation for a variety of traffic related incidents.

Championship leader, Sargeant found himself only tenth on the grid for Race One whilst title rival, Oscar Piastri is right behind him after qualifying 12th on the grid.

 

Post Qualifying Penalties

Following a series post Qualifying investigations, Lawson has inherited pole ahead of Nannini and Hughes as Pourchaire has been demoted five grid positions for driving unnecessarily slowly on the run to Parabolica.

Beckmann, Olli Caldwell, Sebastien Fernandez and Pierre-Louis Chovet have also been handed five place penalties for the same offence, meaning that Beckmann drops to tenth, whilst Caldwell and Fernandez will start from 20th and 16th respectively with Chovet starting at the back in 30th position.

Zendeli has received a ten place grid drop after being served two sets of five place penalties for driving unnecessarily slowly and impeding Liam Lawson at Turn Two, although other penalties means that the German will start 12th.

Smolyar was hit with an eight place drop of which five grid places were penalised for driving unnecessarily slowly towards Parabolica then a further three places for same offence but at Turn Two too, leaving the Russian ART GP driver 11th on grid.

PREMA’s Piastri and Vesti were both handed three place grid penalties for impeding Hughes by driving unnecessarily slowly and will therefore start from 15th and ninth respectively.

The top ten grid positions for Race One is therefore as follows; Lawson, Nannini, Hughes, Calan Williams, Sargeant, Pourchaire, Igor Fraga, Alex Peroni, Vesti and Beckmann.

 

Results

Practice

Position Driver Team Time
1 David Schumacher Carlin 1m 38.096
2 David Beckmann Trident + 0.238
3 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab + 0.294
4 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.421
5 Olli Caldwell Trident + 0.425
6 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 0.426
7 Cameron Das Carlin + 0.490
8 Roman Stanek Charouz + 0.492
9 Clement Novalak Carlin + 0.520
10 Lirim Zendeli Trident + 0.601
11 Frederik Vesti Prema + 0.657
12 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 0.724
13 Michael Belov Charouz + 0.761
14 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 0.766
15 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP + 0.776
16 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP + 0.823
17 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 0.841
18 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP + 0.847
19 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.868
20 Igor Fraga Charouz + 0.891
21 Oscar Piastri Prema + 0.959
22 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 0.963
23 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 1.076
24 Alex Peroni Campos + 1.093
25 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.315
26 Sophia Floersch Campos + 1.320
27 Alessio Deledda Campos + 1.379
28 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 1.551
29 Calan Williams Jenzer + 1.562
30 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 2.078

 

Qualifying

Position Driver Team Time
1 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 1m 37.301
2 Lirim Zendeli Trident + 0.451
3 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 0.487
4 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.487
5 David Beckmann Trident + 0.508
6 Frederik Vesti Prema + 0.714
7 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 0.735
8 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 0.750
9 Calan Williams Jenzer + 0.763
10 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.794
11 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP + 0.841
12 Oscar Piastri Prema + 0.897
13 Igor Fraga Charouz + 0.914
14 Alex Peroni Campos + 0.936
15 Olli Caldwell Trident + 1.042
16 Roman Stanek Charouz + 1.230
17 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 1.282
18 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 1.383
19 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab + 1.389
20 Michael Belov Charouz + 1.422
21 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 1.499
22 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP + 1.541
23 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.564
24 Clement Novalak Carlin + 1.596
25 Sophia Floersch Campos + 1.721
26 Cameron Das Carlin + 1.776
27 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP + 1.872
28 Alessio Deledda Campos + 2.147
29 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 2.178
30 David Schumacher Carlin + 2.193

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