Joel is set to start the first FIA F3 European Championship race of the weekend at Monza from sixth on the grid, after dropping out of contention for pole due to poor timing in the closing stages of qualifying one.
Joel opened proceedings forcefully to lead the way in the early parts of qualifying on Friday evening, topping the timing screens when the session was halted following a crash from Harrison Newey in the fast Lesmo sweepers.
As running resumed, Joel survived a brief scare as he narrowly avoided being hit from behind by team-mate Marino Sato as the field crowded up on the pitlane exit.
It all came to be decided in the dying minutes of the session, with Joel unfortunately dropping back to sixth at the fall of the chequered flag after being unable to catch a slipstream – crucial to lap time along Monza’s vast straights – on either of his final two laps.
By contrast, the Carlin quartet managed to execute the slipstreaming strategy to good effect to gain significant time on their last efforts, with Jehan Daruvala grabbing a career-first pole as all four of the British team’s cars made the top five.
Joel ended up just under half a second adrift of Daruvala’s pole time, setting him up on row three of the grid when the lights go out tomorrow morning.
Next session: Race 1, 11.05 local time (GMT+02:00) tomorrow.
“That didn’t go according to plan, unfortunately. We lost this today because I didn’t get a tow – the car felt great and I’m confident we could have challenged for pole otherwise. The slipstreaming effect is huge around here; it’s certainly worth at least half a second, so we have to execute that better tomorrow. Still, sixth is not a bad place to start from here, with plenty of overtaking opportunities. I think the race tomorrow will be something extra.”
RESULTS – Qualifying 1 (grid for Race 1)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
TV / live stream
FIA F3 European Championship races are broadcast throughout a wide network of TV stations. Click here to find out where to watch in your part of the world. All races are also transmitted LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com/live, with Eurosport airing a highlights package in the days following each round.
Live timing for each session of the 2017 FIA F3 European Championship is available at www.fiaf3europe.com/live.
WHERE IT HAPPENS
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Lap length: 5.793 km
Monza FIA F3 EC data
Lap record: 1m44.082s (C.Leclerc, ’15)
Latest event: 2015
Most recent winners (2015):