Alexander Smolyar claimed pole position for MP Motorsport after a Qualifying session interrupted by a significant Red Flag. Isack Hadjar crashed out of Qualifying midway through the session, ending up 16th in the order.
In the title race, Zane Maloney led the way, qualifying second for Trident ahead of teammate Roman Stanek in P3. Victor Martins, Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman followed nose-to-tail, fourth, fifth and sixth on the grid. Jak Crawford ended the session eighth for PREMA Racing.
With the long straights of Monza comprising most of the lap, drivers were immediately searching for a tow on their outlaps. Martins was in a great position with his two teammates ahead of him on the road but ran deep on his first attempt at Turn 1, taking to the escape road and forcing him to reset for another go.
The title contenders took two of the three top three spots following the first laps, Stanek first ahead of Isack Hadjar in P2. Arthur Leclerc filtered through in seventh after a huge snap of oversteer out of the second Lesmo.
With 10 minutes gone, Stanek lowered the benchmark time to a 1:38.107 ahead of teammates Jonny Edgar and Maloney in a Trident 1-2-3. Leclerc managed traffic in the third sector well enough to go ahead of Hadjar and Bearman, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Martins’ first lap left him 10th in the order with Crawford following in 11th.
As the third laps filtered through, Hadjar looked set to take the fastest lap with two good sectors. Through Parabolica, he ran wide, picked up the gravel and spun into the barriers. His crash brought out the Red Flags with 15 minutes left of the session.
With half of the session remaining, Qualifying got back underway though there was no real rush to venture out for a lap. Nobody wanted to blink first with the tow so crucial to a fast lap, but it was time to go with eight minutes left of the session. Ciao Collet led the train out of the pit lane for MP Motorsport.
Preparation laps until three minutes to go left the pressure laps right to the very end. Smolyar set a fastest first sector, Martins was quickest in sector two, but it was the MP driver that managed the better lap, setting a 1:37.559 to take pole.
Maloney kept up his impressive Qualifying form to go second with teammate Stanek third. Martins’ time was good enough for fourth ahead of Leclerc and Bearman, fifth and sixth for PREMA. William Alatalo popped up to seventh on his last attempt, ahead of eighth-placed Crawford. Juan Manuel Correa and Edgar completed the top 10. Josep Maria Marti is set to start the Sprint Race on the front row with Collet on reverse grid pole.