“Auer takes FIA F3 race one pole at Hockenheim”

Auer took a dominant pole. © FIA.
Auer took a dominant pole. © FIA.

A late run by Mücke Motorsport’s Lucas Auer helped the Austrian to race one pole for the opening FIA European F3 race at the Hockenheimring this evening.

Jagonya with Carlin driver Antonio Giovinazzi joins Auer on the front row – his best qualifying position at European level – having led much of the latter half of the session.

With cool weather drawing in, Auer breached the top positions in the final five minutes with a 1:32.523s. He would improve by almost one-and-a-half tenths with less than two minutes remaining, demoting Giovinazzi.
Auer noted later that: “In free practice, we already noticed that we had a good speed. It is great that we were able to make use of this in qualifying and that I am now on pole position. Of course, I want to get the maximum out of the race tomorrow, so I would love to win, no matter what the weather conditions are.”

It marks a return to form for the Mucke team, who struggled throughout the opening race weekend at Silverstone two weeks ago, to which Auer commented: “A big hand to my team kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport and our engine partner Mercedes, because we have made a big step forward after the season opener at Silverstone.”
Yellow flags in the final moments of the session curtailed any chance of further fast laps in the field; however few seemed close to Auer’s pace.

Despite losing the top spot, Giovinazzi remained happy with the outcome. “Today has been a really good and strong day for me and for the team. We knew from this morning that the car had pace and that we would be able to do something here. I was on provisional pole until three minutes from the end so although it’s a shame to lose that I’m very happy with lining up second. Tomorrow, we aim to get off the line quickly, focus and see what happens.”

Ed Jones also impressed, with Dubai racer placing his Volkwagen-powered Carlin machine 3rd on the grid, just ahead of Van Amersfoort’s Max Verstappen. “Everything came together really well for me this afternoon and although we didn’t get the best out of things in free practice we more than made up for it in qualifying,” said the delighted Jones. He continued, “The track was much better to drive so that made my job a lot easier too. I think it’ll be very interesting tomorrow because we’re all very close but we have to get a good start and aim for that podium.”

Esteban Ocon was next, just two-thousandths shy of the second row, having topped the session with five minutes left; however the Frenchman could not improve on that effort. Tom Blomqvist made it three Carlin prepared cars in the top six, while Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam, 7th) will partner Felix Rosenqvist (Mucke, 8th) for tomorrow’s opener.
John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec, 9th) and Jordan King (Carlin, 10th) fill out the fifth row. Antonio Fuoco endured a difficult qualifying, with the Ferrari youngster qualifying a disappointing 18th after he was repeatedly caught in traffic.

A large number of laptimes were deleted during the sessions, when drivers continued to breach track limits around turn one, despite a second pre-qualifying drivers meeting. Tatiana Calderon had qualified in 17th place, but will start from the back of the grid after she used a different engine from the previous round at Silverstone.

Auer prepares prior to qualifying. © FIA.
Auer prepares prior to qualifying. © FIA.
2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 2, Qualifying 1; revised) 
Pos Driver                Team                      Time 
 1. Lucas Auer            Mucke-Mercedes            1:32.387 
 2. Antonio Giovinazzi    Jagonya Ayam/Carlin-VW    1:32.505 
 3. Ed Jones              Carlin-Volkswagen         1:32.547 
 4. Max Verstappen        Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:32.586 
 5. Esteban Ocon          Prema Powerteam-Mercedes  1:32.588 
 6. Tom Blomqvist         Jagonya Ayam/Carlin-VW    1:32.602 
 7. Nicholas Latifi       Prema Powerteam-Mercedes  1:32.634 
 8. Felix Rosenqvist      Mucke-Mercedes            1:32.688 
 9. John Bryant-Meisner   Fortec-Mercedes           1:32.708 
10. Jordan King           Carlin-Volkswagen         1:32.740 
11. Jake Dennis           Carlin-Volkswagen         1:32.786 
12. Mitch Gilbert         Fortec-Mercedes           1:32.860 
13. Felix Serralles       Team West-Tec-Mercedes    1:32.916 
14. Jules Szymkowiak      Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:33.041 
15. Dennis van de Laar    Prema Powerteam-Mercedes  1:33.042 
16. Spike Goddard         ThreeBond/T-Sport-NBE     1:33.183 
17. Antonio Fuoco         Prema Powerteam-Mercedes  1:33.233 
18. Riccardo Agostini     EuroInternational-Merc    1:33.236 
19. Alexander Toril       ThreeBond/T-Sport-NBE     1:33.252 
20. Roy Nissany           Mucke-Mercedes            1:33.278 
21. Gustavo Menezes       Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:33.316 
22. Sean Gelael           Jagonya Ayam/Carlin-VW    1:33.496 
23. Felipe Guimaraes      Double R-Mercedes         1:33.780 
24. Michele Beretta       EuroInternational-Merc    1:33.818 
25. Hector Hurst          Team West-Tec-Mercedes    1:34.022
26. Sandro Zeller         Zeller-Mercedes           1:34.074
27. Tatiana Calderon      Zeller/Mucke-Mercedes     1:33.183*

Tatiana Calderon; 10-place grid drop (using different engine, following previous round).
Michele Beretta; 5-place grid drop, suspended (failed to manage track limits on several occasions).

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