2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship – Smolyar Seals First F3 Pole in Wet-Dry Qualifying

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Alex Smolyar was phenomenal around the Hungaroring in today’s wet-dry Qualifying session, taking his maiden pole position in FIA Formula 3. The Russian finished 0.2s ahead of PREMA’s Logan Sargeant, with his ART Grand Prix teammate Théo Pourchaire in third.

Qualifying had been suspended earlier in the day due to heavy rain, but the eventual session was well worth the wait. Smolyar was the first man out onto a still damp track, with a noticeable amount of spray firing from the rear end of his ART machine.

The Russian wasn’t messing about, setting the first fast lap, before beating it by 1.6s. Sebastián Fernández dived in beneath him, but couldn’t get close to his teammate’s pace. Championship leader Oscar Piastri enjoyed more luck in that regard, setting two purple sectors to take provisional pole from Smolyar by a massive margin of 1.3s.

Not that the ART driver was fazed. He responded emphatically to return to first by 0.1s. Sargeant and Liam Lawson crossed the line not long after, but could only haul themselves to third and fourth.

F3’s newest race winner, Théo Pourchaire, saw his own attempt fall short. The Frenchman set solid first and final sectors but couldn’t find the pace in the middle part of the track and sat fifth. Smolyar was in a league of his own, and bettered his own time yet again to increase his margin to 0.6s.

The track had dried significantly by this point and enough time remained for two final laps. Sargeant looked to have made the most of his to steal provisional pole from Smolyar by 0.012s.

Yet, once again, the Russian responded with another phenomenal tour of the Hungaroring. His first and second sectors were so strong that he was able to slip up in the third and still take pole from Sargeant by two tenths.

The American was unable to respond and settled for second, with Pourchaire getting in a final tour good enough for third. Frederik Vesti took fourth late on, ahead of Jenzer’s Calan Williams. Piastri, Fernández, Richard Verschoor, Bent Viscaal and Dennis Hauger completed the top ten.

Smolyar will be looking for a first win in F3 in Race 1 tomorrow, which gets underway at 10.25am local time.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 17: <> during qualifying for the Formula 3 Championship at Hungaroring on July 17, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Qualifying Times

1st – No. 8, Alexander Smolyar, ART Grand Prix, 1:51.348
2nd – No. 3, Logan Sargeant, PREMA Racing, 1:51.606
3rd – No. 7, Theo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix, 1:51.714
4th – No.2, Frederik Vesti, PREMA Racing, 1:52.228
5th – No.20, Calan Williams, Jenzer Motorsport, 1:52.252
6th – No.1, Oscar Piastri, PREMA Racing, 1:52.278
7th – No.9, Sebastian Fernandez, ART Grand Prix, 1:52.288
8th – No.17, Richard Verschoor, MP Motorsport, 1:52.352
9th – No.18, Bent Viscaal, MP Motorsport, 1:52.460
10th – No.6, Dennis Hauger, Hitech Grand Prix, 1:52.471
11th – No.5, Liam Lawson, Hitech Grand Prix, 1:52.638
12th – No.12, Olli Caldwell, Trident, 1:52.919
13th – No.4, Max Fewtrell, Hitech Grand Prix, 1:53.001
14th – No.11, David Beckmann, Trident, 1:53.101
15th – No.29, Alexander Peroni, Campos Racing, 1:53.231
16th – No.25, David Schumacher, Charouz Racing System, 1:53.283
17th – No.21, Federico Malvestiti, Jenzer Motorsport, 1:53.296
18th – No.24, Igor Fraga Charouz, Racing System, 1:53.333
19th – No.14, Enzo Fittipaldi, HWA RACELAB, 1:53.432
20th – No.19, Lukas Dunner, MP Motorsport, 1:53.479
21st – No.15, Jake Hughes, HWA RACELAB, 1:53.501
22nd – No.16, Jack Doohan, HWA RACELAB, 1:53.648
23rd – No.27, Enaam Ahmed, Carlin Buzz Racing, 1:53.751
24th – No.31, Sophia Floersch, Campos Racing, 1:53.855
25th – No.10, Lirim Zendeli, Trident, 1:53.937
26th – No.26, Clement Novalak, Carlin Buzz Racing, 1:53.991
27th – No.28, Cameron Das, Carlin Buzz Racing, 1:54.000
28th – No.23, Roman Stanek, Charouz Racing System, 1:54.243
29th – No.22, Matteo Nannini, Jenzer Motorsport, 1:54.780
30th – No.30, Alessio Deledda, Campos Racing, 1:57.455

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