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.