ak Crawford gave PREMA Racing third place in a rain-delayed qualifying session for the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Imola.
The American set a late flying lap in the closing moments of a five-minute shootout after a late red flag to secure a second-row spot for the weekend’s feature race.
Unfortunately Arthur Leclerc was involved in the red flag situation. The Monegask was in excellent shape throughout the session, which started with wet tires on a drying track but was knocked out of the race by another car at Rivazza with about five minutes to go. Leclerc eventually classified P21.
British rookie Ollie Bearman finished in P5 and was a highly competitive candidate, showing impressive pace and consistency only in his second FIA F3 event, although an impeding penalty forces him to start from P8 in Race 1 tomorrow.
“I think we had a really good pace in qualifying, we showed we can always be on top, but unfortunately another car crashed into me in the penultimate corner and gave us pole-away opportunities. The goal will be to score points tomorrow, even though it will be quite difficult from P21 onwards. However, we are not giving up and we will keep pushing.”
“It was a good qualifying, of course I’m happy with P3. I was quite slow in the first run, but in the second I made a lot of improvements while drying. I had to make a good last lap because the track has improved a lot. I put in a pretty good lap, it’s a shame because I think pole was possible, but I’m still very happy with P3. The conditions were very difficult, it was very slippery off-line and there was only a small dry line. It was a tough session, and in the end you never knew because it was getting better all the time.”
“We got P5 and I was quite happy in the end. It was a bit of a messy session and the track was always evolving. I managed to fit right in at the end after the red flag. I think everyone improved, so it was a pretty important round. I think I moved forward 2.5 seconds, and without it it would have been a different story. I will start from a good position in the sprint race and also in the main race, so I’m looking forward to it. It will be the first time on dry land because we haven’t had a dry run in practice, it should be interesting!”