Brake woe hinders Barnicoat qualifying
A leaking brake line stunted Ben Barnicoat’s attempt to qualify in a competitive position for the sixth round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.
Having suffered a tumultuous weekend last time out at round five at the Norisring in Germany, Barnicoat’s fortunes did not improve at the coastal circuit, his Hitech GP car suffering the mechanical fault shortly before the start of the opening qualifying session.
With the team deeming the fault to be too serious to risk the car taking to the track, it therefore led the Racing Steps Foundation driver to sit out the first period which would form the grid for Saturday’s first race. Barnicoat will therefore start the opening race of the weekend from the back of the pack on Saturday.
The leak was repaired for the second qualifying session later in the day, with Barnicoat completing 12 laps, but he was only able to set the 13th quickest time, with a best lap of 1m 29.330s, a single place behind team-mate Nikita Mazepin on the grid.
Barnicoat’s second fastest time of the session, which makes up the grid for Sunday's third and final race of the weekend, was good enough to place him at the head of the sixth row in 11th position.
Prema’s Nick Cassidy took pole position for the opening race of the weekend alongside team-mate Maximilian Gunther. Stroll then scored a double pole position for races two and three, heading Van Amersfoort’s Callum Ilott on the front row for race two, and Motopark’s Sergio Sette Camara in the finale.
Following post-qualifying scrutineering, Stroll was excluded from the results of qualifying two and three, following a technical irregulation, promoting Ilott to pole for race two. Sette Camara was also excluded, his car failing the vacuum test which determines how much air reaches the engine. That promotes Maximilian Gunther to pole position for race three alongside Cassidy.
With Stroll and Camara's respective exclusions, Barnicoat was promoted to 11th place on the grid in race two, and a ninth place start in the finale.