GP3: Ocon on pole at Sochi Autodrom
After five weeks of waiting, GP3 returned too and the 30-minute long qualifying session ended with Esteban Ocon on pole position. Ocon was the fastest at practice yesterday, under very wet conditions, and on this Saturday morning, the track was drier, but still damp. Jann Mardenborough set the first representative time of 2:05.551. Matheo Tuscher got close with 2:06.301, 0.75s slower than the provisional polesitter. Luca Ghiotto demoted Mardenborough with 2:02.238, and so did Seb Morris and Ralph Boschung who went up to second and third respectively. Seb Morris had a great lap and improved to 2:00.773, which was the fastest lap that far. Tuscher also improved and went to second, pushing Ghiotto down to third.
However, Ghiotto broke the 2-minute mark and lapped Sochi Autodrom in 1:59.146 and went up to first, and Trident’s new driver Michele Beretta took advantage of the empty track and went up to second with 2:00.02. Konstantin Terecshenko did 1:59.298 and went up to second. Minutes later, Tereschenko went to pole with 1:58.521, but was overtaken by Tuscher with 1:57.325 and Mardenborough with 1:58.085. In the final minutes of the session, all the drivers started improving their times and Fuoco was the next one to get to pole with 1:56.746, but was immediately demoted by Esteban Ocon who did 1:55.571. However, Luca Ghiotto returned to pole with 1:54.723. Ocon reclaimed the provisional pole with 1:54.100. Kevin Ceccon demoted Ocon, but he retaliated in his last lap and did 1:53.921, which was enough for his maiden GP3 pole. Tuscher was on second, followed by Ceccon, Palou and Mardenborough in top five. Parry was on sixth, in front of Ghiotto on disappointing seventh, Bernstorff, Fuoco and Morris in top ten.