It was a tricky qualifying session for the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Spa-Francorchamps, as despite it being the longest track on the schedule, traffic turned into a major issue for teams and drivers of the series. Nonetheless, PREMA Racing secured pole position for the opening race of the weekend thanks to Indian racer Jehan Daruvala, who steadily improved throughout the running and eventually snatched the fastest lap of the day to top an incredibly close pack.
Despite having to deal with a slowing car he had in front in what could have been his best lap of the day, Russian Robert Shwartzman brought home a valuable fourth place, which will be good enough for an early slipstream attack on the long Kemmel straight.
Marcus Armstrong had a troubled day. The quick Kiwi, who scored his first win of the season last time around at Hungaroring, suffered from heavy traffic all day long. In addition, he could not complete his final push lap as due to an adjustment which kept him into the pits longer than expected. Rejoining the track a little too late, couldn't complete the full stint before the checkered flag fell.
# 26 - Marcus Armstrong
"It really was a bad day as we faced big traffic problems in both practice and qualifying. I didn't get a single clean lap. I'm sure in the race we'll be fast so we can come back."
# 27 - Jehan Daruvala
"Finally pole position! I have been thereabouts all season, fighting for pole, and then I got it so I'm very very happy for myself and the team. It's great to bounce back after a bad weekend at Budapest. To describe the session, it was chaotic but I managed to stay out of trouble. The car was great. After set one, I knew I didn't put it together so I just wanted to focus on the driving and get a good lap. We tweaked something in the middle of the session which also helped. To be on pole at Spa is amazing, hopefully, I can turn it into a win tomorrow."
# 28 - Robert Shwartzman
"Qualifying went quite well. I felt that there was more grip compared to practice right from the out lap. The balance was good and generally I liked how the car was handling. We were third and losing out a bit in sector 1 and 3 so we thought there was something with the aero or slipstream. We made a change from the first to the second out. The track improved so we improved too although I'm not 100 per cent sure that it was the step I needed. We tried, and we didn't go backwards so it was fine. We missed a chance in the final lap. I was putting together a good lap and I had some slipstream too, but in sector 3 I was blocked. I lost the car and the lap time, but it happens. Anyway, fourth place is good at Spa. Here you can pass, and I will do my best to make my way to the front."