Christian Mansell, Formula 3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Mansell pips Red Bull’s Lindblad to pole in close Barcelona qualifying

Formula 3

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ART driver Christian Mansell secured his first Formula 3 pole position by beating Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad by less than half a tenth.

The top four drivers were all covered by less than a tenth of a second in an extremely close session which saw Mansell secure pole for Sunday’s feature race while championship leader Gabriele Mini could only manage 16th.

In idyllic conditions, drivers could not have been better prepared for qualifying following the earlier practice session and the in-season test held weeks prior. Mari Boya returned to the track in his Campos following his high-speed crash at turn one in practice, which was believed to have been caused by brake failure.

After the initial runs, ART’s Laurens van Hoepen sat on provisional pole position, but after the second set of push laps, Luke Browning replaced him at the top of the times. Behind Browning, the top five – Browning, Boya, Christian Mansell, Oliver Goethe and championship leader Gabriele Mini – were all covered by less than a tenth of a second.

Heading into the final ten minutes of qualifying, several drivers appeared to be in genuine contention for pole position. Browning improved his own provisional pole time to a 1’28.519. But that was beaten by both Alpine junior Nikola Tsolov and Red Bull Arvid Lindblad by less than a tenth of a second each.

Lindblad looked like he might be on course for his first pole position in the series, but ART driver Christian Mansell pipped him by a few hundredths of a second to snatch pole position at the chequered flag. He will start Sunday’s feature race from pole position for the first time, with Lindblad alongside on the front row.

Tsolov secured third ahead of Browning, with Goethe in fifth and Leonardo Fornaroli in sixth. McLaren junior Martinius Stenshorne will start from seventh ahead of Van Hoepen, Alex Dunne and Sebastian Montoya. Championship leader Mini qualified down in 16th.

Trident driver Sami Meguetounif will start from reverse-grid pole in Saturday’s sprint race. Boya will join him on the front row for his home round.

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Formula 3 Spain qualifying results

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

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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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