Jake Dennis secured pole position for Races 2 and 3 of the FIA European F3 Championship round at Pau this evening.
With qualifying split into two groups, a late surge for the Briton in Group B saw Dennis clock in a 1:10.276s, before following that up with a 1:10.253s just prior to the chequered flag.
Charles Leclerc is set to line up on the front-row alongside Dennis for the trio of races this weekend.
Markus Pömmer and Maximilian Günther pressured the 19-year-old Dennis to the end, while Alessio Lorandi and Dorian Boccolacci played a good hand too; however Dennis’ pair of laps in the 1:10.2s put the Prema man far beyond the reach of the competition.
Like qualifying 1 from earlier this afternoon, Günther took an early lead and swapped fast times with Boccolacci and Lorandi; yet where Günther kept chipping sums away from his laptimes, the latter pairing could not improve significantly.
The picture changed when Pietro Fittipaldi crashed at the chicane, bringing out a red flag. Upon the restart Dennis was instantly quick, with the Mercedes-powered man going straight to the top of the times.
Charles Leclerc headed Antonio Giovinazzi and Arjun Maini in Group A for the Race 2, with Leclerc falling one-tenth shy of Dennis in the overall times. Giovinazzi gave Leclerc chase for a time, but the Monegasque racer was simply far too quick around the Pyrénées streets to bother the topspot. Alexander Albon placed his Signature Racing machine in 4th, while Felix Rosenqvist could run no higher than 5th in Group A.
For Race 3, it was Giovinazzi who topped Leclerc giving the championship leader a front row spot alongside Dennis. Albon took 3rd in the group followed by Maini and Lance Stroll.
While all was good at the front, the results toward the back will raise questions. Once again Mahaveer Raghunathan endured a torrid session, with the Indian ending the Group B session prematurely when he spun at Pont Oscar. Considering some of his other performances, one must seriously wonder if the Motopark driver has the abilities to compete at this level.
On outside evidence, the answer might be “no”.