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F3: Smolyar on pole at Monza with title contenders close behind

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Alexander Smolyar claimed pole position for the Formula 3 Feature Race at Monza after a dramatic qualifying session that included a red flag stoppage.

The MP Motorsport driver timed his laps to perfection, earning a slipstream from cars ahead to pip everyone else by just 0.047s at the end.

Trident’s efforts were rewarded with second, third and 10th on the grid, with Zane Maloney and Roman Stanek inside the top three, bolstering their hopes of involvement in the title battle come Sunday.

With Monza’s layout rewarding those with a tow, nobody was eager to head the queue in the closing minutes of the session. Trident’s trio were able to slipstream one another to secure places inside the top 10.

Championship leader Victor Martins finished the session in fourth, setting himself up well to maintain his place at the top of the standings.

PREMA Racing also ended up with all three of their drivers inside the top 10 qualifiers. Arthur Leclerc secured fifth on the grid with team mate Oliver Bearman one place behind in sixth. Seventh in the drivers’ championship but still in with a mathematical chance, team mate Jak Crawford is set to start from P8.

Isack Hadjar crashed out halfway through the session having been on a lap that looked set to put him on provisional pole. The Hitech Grand Prix driver is currently second in the standings but ended up 16th in the session, lowest of all seven drivers in title contention.

For more details on Formula 3's qualifying session in Monza, check out the full report on the official F3 website.

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