Force India Formula 1 tester Nikita Mazepin has claimed the final-ever GP3 pole at Abu Dhabi to cut rival Anthoine Hubert’s points lead.
Mazepin set a time of 1m54.885s with his final effort of the 30-minute session to deny Campos’ Leonardo Pulcini, who had set a fastest last sector to take provisional pole.
Hubert was unable to respond, losing two tenths to Mazepin in the final sector, ending 0.156s behind his ART team-mate after both were practically identical with times in the first two-thirds of the circuit.
This means that the Renault affiliate driver’s points gap is reduced to 28 points with 44 remaining in the weekend, with Mazepin needing to outscore Hubert by 11 during the feature race to take the fight to the wire in the sprint.
Hubert previously set multiple fastest sectors but was unable to complete this streak across a lap, being denied in the final section by multiple drivers.
This meant that he placed fourth before his last attempt despite leading the session on many occasions previously.
Jake Hughes and Ferrari academy racer Callum Ilott finished in fourth and fifth after returning from their Macau Grand Prix efforts with European Formula 3 machinery.
David Beckmann ended in sixth with the latest lap submission, displacing Giuliano Alesi from the third row.
Ryan Tveter, Simo Laaksonen and Juan Manuel Correa completed the top 10.
Jannes Fittje equalled his career-best result of 13th above Jenzer team-mate Tatiana Calderon.
Jehan Daruvala was 15th in his maiden qualifying session in the series on his one-off drive with MP.
|10||Juan Manuel Correa||Jenzer||1m55.535s||12|