F3: Italian GP Qualifying recap – Hadjar’s pivotal crash at the Monza season finale

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The final qualifying session of the 2022 season at Monza ended in as much drama as you would expect from an intense title fight.

Rookie and second in the championship, Isack Hadjar, made a rare but costly mistake as he spun into the gravel in qualifying for the final weekend of the F3 season. After setting a personal best in Sector 1 and the fastest sector out of anyone in Sector 2, Hadjar was on course for either pole or a top three start. All is not lost, but there is plenty of work to do at Monza. He will start P16 for both races this weekend.

Outside of Hadjar all of the other five championship contenders qualified well. From Zane Maloney back to Oliver Bearman, all five will start the Feature Race 2nd through 6th. Get ready for fireworks.

Meanwhile, championship leader Victor Martins secured himself a P4 start for the Feature race and P8 for the Sprint. As Hadjar will spend the last two races working his way through the field, Martin’s closest rival in the standings is Roman Stanek, who is twelve points back in third place. Stanek starts one place ahead of Martins for the Feature race.

Arthur Leclerc managed to improve his qualifying pace with P5. The first time he’s qualified in the top ten in two races. He is followed by his teammate, Oliver Bearman, in P6.

Alex Smolyer became the second driver to secure two poles this season. Caio Collet qualified 12th and will start on pole for the Sprint Race. Juan Manuel Correa starts P3 for the Sprint and is hoping to make it a second trip to the podium for the second Sprint Race in a row.

Results:

  1. Alex Smolyer
  2. Zane Maloney
  3. Roman Stanek
  4. Victor Martins
  5. Arthur Leclerc
  6. Oliver Bearman
  7. William Alatalo
  8. Jak Crawford
  9. Juan Manuel Correa
  10. Jonny Edgar
  11. Josep Maria Marti
  12. Caio Collet

The top 12 in qualifying will be reversed for the Sprint Race on Saturday. With two DRS zones and a long start/finish straight, overtaking is a high possibility as Hadjar hopes to salvage his weekend.

Featured Image Credit: Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images