PREMA Racing secured a front-row start at Circuit Paul Ricard, home of round 2 of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship. Coming from a successful series opener at Barcelona, championship leader Dennis Hauger went from P1 in practice to a valuable second place in qualifying. Fighting at the front after a red flag disrupted his early run, he gained a front row start for the main race of the weekend which will be held on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Norwegian will start the first of the two reverse-grid races from P11 tomorrow, with the second grid decided by the results of Race 1. British driver Olli Caldwell managed 14th place, navigating an extremely tight pack where drivers were separated by mere hundreds of a second. He will aim for points in the first race tomorrow and to move on from there.
Despite nearing the top-10 in practice, Arthur Leclerc experienced a shorter and more troubled run in qualy. The 20-year-old from Monte Carlo had to stop early after damaging a suspension and tyre on a kerb and not setting any competitive laptime. He is also looking forward to recovering in tomorrow's race 1 and 2.
#1 - Dennis Hauger
"Not too bad, P2 is a good position to score some points from tomorrow and Sunday. The red flag made the first stint a bit difficult, just to get the heat up in the tyres was not easy with the traffic and everything. In the second stint, I put it a bit more together, I was alone, so I lost a bit in the second sector, but it was still good enough for P2. We have some stuff to work on this evening for tomorrow, and I think we have good opportunities ahead."
#2 - Arthur Leclerc
"It's very difficult to finish a qualifying session like that, especially after we had looked promising in practice. I hit an outside kerb early in my first push lap, which damaged the suspension and a tyre, and there was nothing left to do for me other than stopping. I hadn't made anything over the limit or risky, so never expected this outcome. Being in Paul Ricard, it's a place where there are some chances for overtaking, so I will try to recover as much as possible."
#3 - Olli Caldwell
"P14 is not the result we were aiming for, but the field is incredibly close here at Paul Ricard, from P8 to P15 it's less than a couple of tenths and it doesn't take a lot to move up and down the order. We will push to make a comeback in race 1, it's definitely possible, especially on this track, and we will try to use the reverse grids to our advantage to score good results."