Joel languished down in 17th place at the end of qualifying for the first F3 race of the weekend at Norisring, suffering from what he labelled “a complete lack of grip” amid suspected mechanical issues.
Joel’s qualifying effort got off to a rocky start before it had even begun, as Team Motopark detected a problem related to the car’s damping system just minutes before the session was due to start.
With last-second repairs required to get the car out on track, Joel was left sitting in the team’s awning while the rest of the pack made their way into the pitlane to commence running.
Joel did eventually get going, joining the session just on time, but the issues appeared to persist and he never featured inside the top ten.
As it was, Joel wound up on the last row of the grid for Race 1, only beating Tadasuke Makino after lapping slower than he did in preceding practice.
Jake Hughes secured his first F3 pole position, with Joel’s title rivals Lando Norris, Maximilian Günther and Callum Ilott taking second, fourth and fifth respectively.
Team Motopark are currently investigating the cause of the issues, which appeared without any previous warning.
Next session: Race 1, 10.25 local time (GMT+02:00) tomorrow.
“Very disappointing. This is the second event in a row where we’ve struggled in Qualifying 1, and it’s frustrating for all of us – but what can you do? The mechanics found something with the dampers just before the session began, and while they managed to get the car out on track, there was definitely something wrong. There was a complete lack of grip, both in and out of the corners, and I was close to losing it many times.
“We have to understand why this happened, and then we will move on and start working on tomorrow. At least it’s possible to overtake around here, so hopefully I’ll be able to provide a bit of a show!”
RESULTS – Qualifying 1