Formula 3

FIA F3 Europe

McLaren junior Norris take provisional pole for Macau GP

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McLaren Formula 1 youngster Lando Norris has secured provisional pole position for the 64th running of the Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race, finishing almost one second clear of the field in a truncated opening stage of qualifying on Thursday.

Norris, 18, entered the famous Macau race for a second time off the back of a successful title campaign in the FIA European Formula 3 championship, as well as enjoying a strong maiden F1 test with McLaren back in July.

Norris flew from Brazil to Macau earlier than planned following the cancellation of the Pirelli test at Interlagos he’d been due to feature in over safety fears, arriving in time to take part in practice.

The Briton put the hammer down in Q1 to finish nine-tenths of a second clear of Pedro Piquet at the top of the timesheets, squeezing in a late lap before a fourth red flag forced the session to come to an early end.

Norris’ fastest time of 2:11.570 was just 0.035 seconds off Antonio Felix da Costa’s qualifying record set last year, and gave him an advantage of 0.912 seconds over Piquet in second place.

Norris’ 2017 F3 title rival Maximilian Günther finished the session third-fastest for Prema Powerteam ahead of Red Bull youngster Dan Ticktum, while Joel Eriksson took P5.

Super Formula racer Yuhi Sekiguchi finished Q1 sixth-fastest, edging out Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott in P7.

Sacha Fenestraz slotted into eighth at the checkered flag, with Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou rounding out the top 10.

The second and final stage of qualifying takes place in Macau on Friday.