ART Grand Prix’s Esteban Ocon on top in Bahrain qualifying
Frenchman Esteban Ocon was on a mission today in Sakhir: The ART Grand Prix ace recorded the best time in Free Practice and then went on to claim pole position by over half a second on his first visit to the Bahraini track. The four points scored for pole has proved pivotal with the Mercedes junior now taking the lead in the title battle by two points. His fellow title contender Luca Ghiotto produced a last minute effort to sneak into second, ahead of Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon in third.
Emil Bernstorff was first to set the pace in the thirty minute qualifying session before Ghiotto took control lapping a tenth faster. There was a short stoppage in proceedings after Russian rookie Matevos Isaakyan stopped at Turn 10 in the Koiranen GP car.
Once the action resumed, Ocon joined Bernstorff and Ghiotto with a laptime in the 1m47’s to post the third fastest time. Once the drivers pitted for fresh Pirelli rubber, Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon displaced Ocon for third with the top four drivers covered by a mere 0.281s.
Soon after, Campos Racing’s Alex Palou flew into provisional pole position, lapping almost half a second quicker than Ghiotto with five minutes left on the clock. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer found some extra pace and challenged the Spaniard for pole but was 0.041 shy and had to settle for second.
Ocon continued to show his form from this morning’s Free Practice session as he returned to the top of the timesheet – and was first to dip into the 1m46’s. Ceccon improved to second, putting his track knowledge to good use; but only for a matter of seconds, as Ghiotto clocked a laptime 0.009s quicker than his fellow compatriot to take second position in the dying stages.
At the chequered flag, Ocon achieved his second consecutive pole in GP3 ahead of his main competitor Ghiotto. Ceccon, Palou, Kirchhöfer, Artur Janosz, Bernstorff, Jann Mardenborough, Jimmy Eriksson and Antonio Fuoco completed the top ten.
Catch the forty-minute long race tomorrow (Friday) at 13:20 local time (GMT+3).
Sakhir Qualifying
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:46.684
10
2.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:47.188
10
3.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:47.197
13
4.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:47.218
12
5.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:47.259
11
6.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:47.618
10
7.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:47.663
10
8.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:47.686
9
9.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:47.713
10
10.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:47.833
12
11.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:47.944
13
12.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:47.947
13
13.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:47.954
12
14.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:48.103
10
15.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:48.109
13
16.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:48.265
12
17.
Michele Beretta
Trident
1:48.290
12
18.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:48.304
10
19.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:48.314
13
20.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:48.359
11
21.
Matevos Isaakyan
Koiranen GP
1:48.576
3
22.
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:48.775
11
23.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:48.815
13
24.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Campos Racing
1:48.946
10