Gabriele Mini, Prema, F3, Monaco, 2024

Mini earns Monaco pole ahead of Mansell in disrupted qualifying

Formula 3

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Alpine junior Gabriele Mini secured pole position for the Monaco feature race after topping the fastest group in a split qualifying session.

Mini’s best time of a 1’23.942 was not only quickest for his group, but it was quicker than Christian Mansell’s best time from the second group.

That means that Mini will have the honour of starting from the head of the field for Sunday’s feature race, with Mansell alongside him on the front row.

Uniquely at Monaco, due to the 30-car field, qualifying was separated into two groups of 15-cars in an effort to reduce traffic and improve safety. The first group consisted of all even-numbered cars, while the second group was made up of the 15 drivers with odd numbers.

The first group therefore included four of the top five drivers in the championship, including leader Leonardo Fornaroli and second-placed Luke Browning as well as third and fourth-placed Gabriele Mini and Oliver Goethe. Fornaroli set the early benchmark of 1’25.963, with Browning two tenths behind in second place.

Browning then ramped up the pace to go easily quickest of all with a 1’24.230, with Mini the closest to him but still over three tenths slower. Mari Boya set a purple first sector time, but a mistake at the Swimming Pool ruined his effort.

Browning also whacked the wall at the exit of the Swimming Pool, breaking his right-rear suspension. Thankfully, he managed to recover his car to the pit lane without bringing out a yellow flag, allowing Mini to take the fastest time with a 1’23.942 to top the group ahead of Browning.

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The second group included the likes of Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic and Imola feature race winner Sami Meguetounif, as well as Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad. However, before the second group of drivers could complete their first timed laps, the session was red-flagged as debutant James Hedley crashed into Sainte Devote.

The session eventually restarted with 10 minutes remaining, with Christian Mansell going quickest of all with a 1’24.921, narrowly ahead of Lindblad with Beganovic third. In the final minutes, Beganovic was four tenths up on Mansell through the middle sector, but as he rounded Anthony Noghes to complete his lap, he was met with a red flag for Charlie Wurz having crashed in Sainte Devote, effectively ending the session.

That meant that Mansell was the quickest driver in the second session, but as his time was slower than Mini’s best from the earlier session, Mini will be awarded with pole position for Sunday’s feature race with Mansell starting alongside him on the front row. The drivers from the first group will line up behind Mini on the outside of the grid, with Mansell leading the second group of 15 who will line up in order on the inside of the grid.

That puts Mini and Mansell on the front row for Sunday, with Browning in third and Lindblad in fourth. Fornaroli will start fifth, with Beganovic in sixth place, Boya in seventh and Joseph Loake in eighth.

Formula 3 Monaco qualifying results

Position Car Driver Team
1 2 Gabriele Mini Prema
2 23 Christian Mansell ART
3 14 Luke Browning Hitech
4 3 Arvid Lindblad Prema
5 4 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident
6 1 Dino Beganovic Prema
7 12 Mari Boya Campos
8 31 Joseph Loake Rodin
9 20 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort
10 7 Tim Tramnitz MP
11 24 Laurens Van Hoepen ART
12 25 Nikola Tsolov ART
13 10 Oliver Goethe Campos
14 5 Sami Meguetounif Trident
15 8 Kacper Sztuka MP
16 27 Nikita Bedrin PHM
17 6 Santiago Ramos Trident
18 21 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort
19 22 Tom Smith Van Amersfoort
20 29 Callum Voisin Rodin
21 30 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin
22 17 Charlie Wurz Jenzer
23 18 Max Esterson Jenzer
24 11 Sebastian Montoya Campos
25 28 Josh Dufek PHM
26 9 Alex Dunne MP
27 26 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak PHM
28 15 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech
29 16 Cian Shields Hitech
30 19 James Hedley Jenzer

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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