George Russell takes pole for Macau GP qualification race

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British youngster George Russell will start Saturday’s qualification race for the Macau Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets on Friday for Hitech GP.

Russell, 18, signed up for Macau after finishing his sophomore year in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship third in the standings with two wins to his name.

After finishing 13th in the first qualifying session on Thursday, Russell shot to the front of the pack in the second round on Friday, edging out fellow Briton Callum Ilott by three-tenths of a second.

In a session interrupted by three red flag periods, Russell was able to turn in a lap of 2:10.100 to secure pole for Saturday’s qualification race, with his rivals being denied a final shot at pole after a late stoppage that brought the session to an early end.

Ilott was left to settle for second despite controlling much of the session, his best time 0.370 seconds down on Russell, while Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa ended up third-fastest.

Red Bull junior Sergio Sette Camara slotted into fourth ahead of Japanese F3 champion Kenta Yamashita, with British racer Jake Hughes following in sixth after the final red flag denied him the chance to improve his lap time late on.

FIA F3 vice-champion Maximillian Günther wound up seventh ahead of defending Macau champion Felix Rosenqvist as European Formula Renault champion Lando Norris and New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy rounded out the top 10.

The results of Saturday’s qualification race will set the grid for the 63rd Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.