Smolyar takes Monza pole as Hadjar jeopardises title bid with crash

Formula 3

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Alexander Smolyar secured his second FIA Formula 3 pole position of the season, as title contender Isack Hadjar crashed out of the session.

Coming into the weekend, Victor Martins had a five-point lead over Isack Hadjar, with the gap to Roman Stanek in third of 17 points.

Stanek set the best time in the first 15 minutes of qualifying, with a 1’38.107 to set the early pace.

However, just as the session hit the halfway mark, Hadjar went off-track and crashed backwards into tyre barriers out of the Alboreto corner. He howled “no!” on the radio, telling his Hitech engineers he “destroyed the car” with visible and major rear suspension damage. Replays showed Hadjar had run wide through the final and dipping the rear left tyre into the gravel, causing the collision.

The session was red flagged, with 15 and a half minutes left on the clock. When it restarted, drivers were relatively slow to go back out on track, waiting for the optimal window for their second stint.

Drivers hanging back in the pit lane caused a near-incident as the last five minutes started, with almost every car seemingly trying to leave their pit slot at once. Franco Colapinto was placed under investigation for an unsafe release into the path of Nazim Usman.

Stanek’s provisional pole time had stood until the last two and a half minutes of the session, when Alexander Smolyar set out on a run that looked good enough to beat it. He did, by over half a second with a 1’37.559.

Martins, William Alatalo and Stanek got close to Smolyar’s time before Zane Maloney snatched second but no driver could beat the MP driver’s time.

In the final minutes, Hunter Yeany crashed at the Rettifilo chicane, bringing out a yellow flags in sector one. Martins was able to start another attempt for pole but his lap was only good enough for fourth, behind Stanek.

Hadjar’s early time was ranked 16th, putting him outside of the partially-reversed top twelve for the sprint race. Caio Collet will take pole for the sprint, Josep Maria Marti alongside him.

Smolyar collects the points for pole, meaning the gap between Martins and Hadjar remains the same ahead of this weekend’s championship-deciding races, but with Hadjar’s chances now appearing severely limited. Stanek qualifying ahead of Martins, in third, keeps him in contention.

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Formula 3 Monza qualifying results

111Alexander SmolyarMP
23Zane MaloneyTrident
32Roman StanekTrident
47Victor MartinsART
54Arthur LeclercPrema
66Oliver BearmanPrema
725William AlataloJenzer
85Jak CrawfordPrema
99Juan Manuel CorreaART
101Jonny EdgarTrident
1122Pepe MartiCampos
1210Caio ColletMP
1329Franco ColapintoHWA
1417Kaylen FrederickHitech
158Gregoire SaucyART
1618Alexander SmolyarMP
1726Zak O’SullivanCarlin
1820David VidalesCampos
1930Rafael VillagomezHWA
2016Francesco PizziCharouz
2127Brad BenavidesCarlin
2231Reece UshijimaHWA
2321Hunter YeanyCampos
2423Ido CohenJenzer
2528Enzo TrulliCarlin
2624Federico MalvestitiJenzer
2719Nazim AzmanHitech
2812Kush MainiMP
2914Laszlo TothCharouz
3015Alessandro FamularoCharouz

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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One comment on “Smolyar takes Monza pole as Hadjar jeopardises title bid with crash”

  1. Martins getting very close to the title. I dare say the biggest fight will be for 2nd place with Staněk, Maloney and Hadjar probably ending season with around 120 points

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