- Piastri takes double pole.
- Third front row lock out for TRS Arden.
- Championship leader Caroline sixth fastest.
- Entire field covered by just over a second.
16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Oscar Piastri carried his front-running Friday form into qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with a sublime double pole position. Team-mate Alex Quinn left it late to qualify second and in doing so ensured TRS Arden secured its third front row lock out of the campaign.
Piastri could be found at the top of the timesheet for much of the 20 minute session. However, he was pushed hard, not only by team-mate Quinn, but Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York. The Andy Priaulx Sports Management backed rising star enjoyed a spell on provisional pole, briefly breaking Piastri’s stranglehold on the session with a 57.873s lap with just under five minutes remaining.
Piastri promptly responded with a 57.743s lap and then proceeded to better it on his following flying laps. A 57.610s would prove to be his best and his string of fast laps earnt him pole for the final race of the weekend based on second-fastest times.
“I went out there and did exactly what I needed to do,” said poleman Piastri. “It’s going to be tough to get the championship now with the gap to Jamie Caroline. All I can do is get pole positions and wins and we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve been fast every time I’ve been here and we were fastest for pretty much the whole session. I’m really pleased with my performance and as a team we’re performing so well.
“I knew my pace was pretty strong because I was able to close up to Jamie pretty comfortably when I was behind him on track earlier in the session.
“We were P2 in the dry yesterday and P1 in the wet, and this morning I have put it on pole so I think we’re in a very good place whatever the conditions will be during the rest of the weekend.”
Quinn crashed the front row party in the dying seconds of the session on his final run with a lap of 57.826s, demoting York to third alongside team-mate Hampus Ericsson. The latter putting in his best qualifying performance of the season to earn a front row grid slot in the final race of the weekend.
“It was very difficult out there, the track was improving every lap and I managed to pull a lap out of the bag on my final flyer,” explained Quinn. “It’s great that Oscar got pole and we have another front row lock out for the team.”
“It’s going to be a close race, particularly the battle between myself at Oscar and especially at the start. Hopefully we can bring home big points for the team.
“I was a bit worried when the red flag came out because I wasn’t sure I could get the temperature in the tyres in time, but I stayed calm, brought the tyres in and just got the temperatures right on my final lap to hook things up.”
Behind the all-Fortec second row, can be found an all-Carlin third row with Logan Sargeant beating championship leader Jamie Caroline to fifth on the grid by just 0.009s.
“I’m feeling pretty relaxed,” said Caroline. “We can afford to start sixth given where we are in the championship. I’ll be sending it around the outside in the race to climb up the order!
“Our tyres went off towards the end and I struggled for front end grip whereas others got quicker.
“I know my race pace is strong and our best is yet to come this weekend. We’ll be up there fighting for the top spots.”
Karl Massaad was Double R’s highest qualifier in seventh, with Friday pacesetter Linus Lundqvist only capable of 15th after making contact with the wall in the pit lane.
Johnathan Hoggard ensured all Fortec Motorsports-prepared cars qualified inside the top 10 ahead of Patrik Pasma and Olli Caldwell.
The first F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the Silverstone weekend follows at 1600.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional qualifying times Silverstone 16 September 2017
Round 25 grid order
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 57.610s
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 57.826s
3 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 57.873s
4 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 58.028s
5 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 58.084s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 58.093s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R 58.141s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 58.158s
9 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 58.290s
10 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden 58.321s etc.
Round 27 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Piastri – Ericsson – Quinn – Caroline – Sargeant – York – Hoggard – Simmons – Pasma – Massaad etc.