Joel was unable to repeat yesterday’s encouraging qualifying performance in the second grid-deciding session of the Zandvoort weekend, struggling to positions outside the top five.
Having recouped his early-season FIA F3 European Championship qualifying form on Friday – and backed it up with a podium in this morning’s opening race – Joel went into second qualifying on Saturday afternoon hoping to again battle it out over pole position.
Unlike yesterday, however, he could not stage a proper frontrunning attack, instead taking P10 and P6 on the grids for the second and third races of the weekend.
The session was red-flagged with 4m26s to go when Jehan Daruvala spun off at Mastersbocht, with Joel sitting a lowly 13th at the time of the stoppage having not yet set a representative lap.
He did produce two near-identical laps of 1m28.613s and 1m28.673s in the closing stages, however, hauling himself a bit further up the order.
To aggravate the situation, title rival Lando Norris sealed a set of pole positions for Sunday’s races, while championship leader Maximilian Günther will line up fifth and third respectively.
Next session: Race 2, 11.05 local time (GMT+02:00) tomorrow.
“It’s strange having this result today, because the car felt good in the race this morning and I actually lapped quicker then than I did now, in qualifying trim.
“We need to sit down and have a look at what happened – it’s still too early to really know. Obviously the red flag wasn’t ideal, but it was the same for everyone and I don’t think we suffered more than most. I also had a problem with my radio which meant I couldn’t get any information about track position and traffic. It’s going to be difficult tomorrow, but we’ll have to take it lap by lap. Some rain would help us, so let’s hope for that.”
RESULTS – Qualifying 2
Outright times (grid for Race 2)
Second-fastest times (grid for Race 3)