Liam Lawson will start outside the top-10 for the first time since Hungary when an off-track excursion on his final flying lap ruined his chances of a competitive result, ending up 11th for the start of tomorrow’s first race of the season finale from Mugello.
The young Kiwi will need to finish in at least sixth to keep his fading championship hopes alive but will take some satisfaction away knowing points leader Oscar Piastri will start from 16th.
The Mugello circuit proved tricky for the F3 field with several drivers skating across one of the numerous gravel traps that lurk around the perimeter of the track.
But in the end, it was Lirim Zendeli who came out on top with a penultimate lap strong enough to secure the final pole award of the season.
Championship contender Logan Sargeant fare significantly better than his teammate to qualify second, just 0.034s behind Zendeli. The American will take a three-place grid drop from Monza and is set to start from fifth.
That promotes Jake Hughes to second on the grid, ahead of Frederik Vesti who holds a slim chance of claiming the title but will need a victory and a DNF or non-points scoring finish by either Piastri or Sargeant.
Lawson was well down in the timing sheets after the opening runs but looked to be for a respectable time on a fresh set of tyres. However, a mistake which saw him run across the gravel trip, deleting his time, put an abrupt end to a disappointing day.
He would ultimately finish 13th quickest but was promoted to 11th after a post-session penalty for his Hitech teammate Denis Hauger who was dealt a three-place grid drop for impeding Clément Novalak.
Similarly, Piastri out-qualified Lawson in the 30-minute session to finish 11th quickest but is demoted to 16th after he takes his five-place penalty from Monza.
The other championship contenders Theo Pourchaire and David Beckmann are set to line up in seventh and eighth respectively.