For the first time this year, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 competitors came together in one group to determine the starting grid of the race that will serve as a curtain raiser for the F1 Grand Prix. And even before the start of the session, David Porcelli (MGR Motorsport) stopped on the pit installation lap.
First to set a time, Max Defourny battled with Dorian Boccolacci and Ferdinand Habsburg in the first ten minutes. Making the wager to head out on to the track after his rivals, Lando Norris went straight to the top of the time sheet before Alexey Korneev (JD Motorsport) brought out the red flag when he ran into the barriers at Casino Square.
The Briton stamped his authority at the re-start. His rivals returned to the pits to shod new tyres and closed the gap before the second red flag of the session, provoked by Rodrigo Pflucker (Cram Motorsport) after he went off at Saint Devote. Lando Norris improved his best lap three times to end the session atop the time sheet in 1:31.221.
After the session, scrutineering revealed a technical non-conformity with the car of Lando Norris. With his time disallowed and the application of a penalty received at Motorland Aragón for Ferdinand Habsburg, Sacha Fenestraz and Max Defourny were promoted to the front row.
Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) completes row two ahead of the Sahara Force India protégés, Nikita Mazepin (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Bruno Baptista (Fortec Motorsports), Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Julien Falchero (R-ace GP) complete the top ten positions.
Sacha Fenestraz : “I am very happy to have scored my first pole position in Formula Renault 2.0 on such a legendary circuit as Monaco ! Qualifying was very complicated, especially at the end with the red flag that caused quite a lot of panic ! It was vital to remain calm while also dealing with traffic and keeping a safety margin. We could only do two laps and the last one was compromised by a yellow flag in sector one. There is still work to do, but I am confident. An excellent start will be capital to try to be in front at the first corner. That would be ideal !”
Max Defourny : “It was a good qualifying session. We are satisfied, although we are also a little disappointed, because we always want to do better. With this format, we attacked from start to finish in adapting the strategy as there are many different options in 55 minutes rather than 15 ! You had to be at the right spot at the right moment. Anything can always happen and anything is still possible.