Fourth becomes pole for Lawson as F3 stewards issue 11 qualifying penalties

Formula 3

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Liam Lawson, who originally qualified fourth for Saturday’s Formula 3 race, will start from pole position as the stewards issued 11 penalties following a chaotic session at Monza.

Theo Pourchaire, Lirim Zendeli and Alexander Smolyar originally claimed the top three places in qualifying. However the three were among nine drivers who faced investigation for slowing down and holding up other drivers as they attempted to gain a slipstream.

The stewards ruled Pourchaire “drove unnecessarily slowly” on the approach to Parabolica during the session and caused “a potentially dangerous situation”. He was given a five-place grid penalty, dropping him to sixth on the grid.

Smolyar was given two penalties for the same infraction, incurring a total penalty of eight places. Zendeli picked up two five-place penalties, one for driving too slowly and one for impeding Lawson.

Frederik Vesti, David Beckmann, Oscar Piastri, Sebastian Fernandez, Olli Caldwell and Pierre Louis Chovet also collected penalties. Matteo Nannini moved up to second on the grid alongside Lawson, followed by Jake Hughes, Calan Williams and championship leader Logan Sargeant.

Following last year’s F1 qualifying session at Monza, where most drivers in Q3 failed to begin their final laps in time because they had slowed to get a slipstream, concerns have been raised over whether a similar situation will occur tomorrow. The FIA has imposed a maximum time limit for out-laps in an attempt to control the problem.

Renault Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, who was dismayed by what he saw in the F3 session, expects the F1 drivers will do a better job.

“I watched the F3 qualifying earlier and it was a mess,” he said. “I think probably 10 drivers should get penalties for that. I was even just watching with some rage. I think we’ll be a bit more sensible.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Fourth becomes pole for Lawson as F3 stewards issue 11 qualifying penalties”

  1. I haven’t watched the first half of that qualifying, but wasn’t there a red flag because Lawson drove out of the pits with a cooling fan still attached that fell off on the track? How did that not result in a penalty?

    1. The team would have got a financial penalty for an unsafe release. Drivers don’t usually get punished for unsafe releases as it’s not normally their fault.

  2. Qualifying chaos all the bloody time since last year.

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