Joel came out on top in a tense qualifying scrap with Britons Lando Norris and Callum Ilott to claim pole position for Saturday’s Qualification Race at the Macau Grand Prix, the leading trio covered by less than one tenth of a second.
The session soon turned into a three-way fight between the leading contenders, with Joel eventually edging out his British rivals courtesy of the fastest lap so far this weekend: a 2m10.720s.
That effort was enough to pip European champion Norris to pole by the tiniest of margins, 0.024s separating the season-long rivals as they locked out the front row.
In third, Ilott wound up just 0.090s adrift of Joel’s benchmark time, while his Prema Powerteam stablemate Maximilian Günther took fourth, 0.436s off the pace.
Joel becomes the sixth Swede in history to top F3 qualifying at Macau.
Next session: Qualification Race, 10.20 local time (GMT+08:00) on Saturday.
“Wow! I’m a bit lost for words right now, but this is one of the greatest emotions I’ve had in motorsport. That was one of the best laps of my life, no doubt. I went into each corner thinking I might have overdone it – it was right, right on the edge. To be on pole for the Macau Grand Prix… what can I say? I’m just thrilled. This was an important step, but now, we have to regroup and look ahead to the races. It will be extremely close, like we saw today, but I’m up for the challenge.”
RESULTS – Qualifying 2