Joel was forced to make do with 12th place in a rain-hit first qualifying session at the Nürburgring, despite leading the Team Motopark charge by almost a second.
In treacherous conditions caused by persistent rain throughout the afternoon, Joel was left unable to join the frontrunning battle as the grid for Saturday’s Race 1 was disputed, instead scrapping for positions in the thick of the midfield.
As it was, he eventually wound up 1.9 seconds adrift of pole-setter Lando Norris, with Jake Hughes second fastest and Callum Ilott taking third.
Ultimately classified 12th, Joel could take little consolation from the fact he once again headed the internal Team Motopark fight, with the Oschersleben squad’s other drivers ending up down in 17th (Petru Florescu), 18th (David Beckmann) and 19th (Marino Sato) place respectively while Keyvan Andres Soori failed to even qualify after lapping 7.4 seconds off the pace.
Joel’s personal best of 1m37.533s left him 0.828s ahead of Florescu.
Next session: Race 1, 10.45 local time (GMT+02:00) on Saturday.
“It’s not that it’s necessarily something wrong with the car – it feels pretty much like it should do balance-wise in the wet. The issue here, rather, is that we seem to just lack overall grip. I had that same feeling in practice, and again now in qualifying. I could possibly have gone one or two tenths quicker, but that’s it: other than that it was pretty much on the limit.
“It was scary to see some of the others – notably the Carlin and Hitech cars – out there today. They were on another level, and we need to understand why. It’s tough, but we will do our all to try and turn this around tomorrow.”
RESULTS – Qualifying 1