Russell Secures 4th GP3 Series Pole Position at Yas Marina
2017 GP3 Series Champion George Russell showed no sign of taking his foot of the gas, storming to his fourth pole position of the season by 0.3s from his nearest rivals.
After a hectic Friday schedule, teaming his ART GP3 Practice sessions with a Formula 1 Free Practise One outing with Sahara Force India – Russell was straight back into action for the final Qualifying Session of the season in the GP3 Series.
After the usual build up laps, where all drivers have to warm up tyres and brakes by themselves – with no aid from tyre warmers, Russell was immediately back on the pace in GP3 - as he put himself 2nd in the time sheets, less than 0.01s off pole position at the half way point and before all drivers recovered to the pits for a set of new tyres and setup changes.
In the closing stages of the session, Russell hooked up a brilliant lap – setting a brace of purple sectors through sector 1 and 2, before rounding off a great lap to set the pole position benchmark of a 1:54.751s.
As his rivals came across the line to try and best his time, none were able too. His nearest rivals Leonardo Pulcini and Niko Kari of Arden Motorsport, came up 3 tenths short of the ultimate pace set by Russell – who was the only driver to dip into the 1:54s barrier.
George Russell "I am very happy with that! 50% of the poles for myself, 100% for ART, so that’s a fantastic achievement. Straight after the FP1 session with Force India I didn’t really know what to expect, coming back into a GP3 car just 40 minutes later, and it was very different! It took a bit of learning to get used to it but the car felt great, we really optimised the session, and I’m really happy to get pole position again.”
By securing the final pole position of the season, it means that ART have took a record 8/8 pole positions during the 2017 GP3 Series Championship – a feat that has never been achieved before! Showing the dominance of team and driver this year, who have both already sealed both championship titles before the end of the season.
Race One takes place on Saturday at 12:25 GMT +4, where Russell will start from pole position and aiming for his 5th win of the session. The partially reversed race two grid will be dictated by the finishing positions of the top eight drivers in the opening race of the weekend.
Race Two will start on Sunday at 12:50 GMT +4, with both races live on Sky Sports F1 HD as support race action to the Formula One World Championship.