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Charles Leclerc has converted his dominant free practice pace into pole position for race one at Norisring after edging out Alexander Albon by under a thousandth of a second.

The FIA European Formula 3 championship leader was involved in a back-and-forth battle with Albon for top spot in the second group of qualifiers, as the 32-car field had to be split into two groups due to the short 1.4-mile lap distance.

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It was the Van Amserfoort Racing driver who came out on top by just 0.009s, while two of his close championship rivals Felix Rosenqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi both start from the second row of the grid.

However, for Jake Dennis - who currently sits second in the drivers' championship - it was a difficult qualifying and despite only being 0.4s off of Leclerc's pole lap time he will start race one from 13th on the grid.

Mikkel Jensen heads the third row on the grid ahead of Lance Stroll while it is an all-German fourth row with the two fastest drivers from group one Maximilian Gunther and Markus Pommer starting seventh and eighth respectively. Arjun Maini and Santino Ferrucci round out the top ten starters.

Gunther leapt to the top of the timesheet in the first group with a 48.569s lap before Pietro Fittipaldi hit trouble on track, causing a red flag with five minutes of the session remaining. The German was able to compose himself after the stoppage to go even faster with a 48.533s to edge out Pommer.

Nonetheless the first 16 drivers had to wait and see what their eventful gird positions would be as the second group of European Formula 3 drivers made their way on to the track.

Giovinazzi made quick work of Gunther's lead time to take provisional pole before Leclerc quickly snatched it off him and in the process set the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

Albon briefly stole the show by going even quicker which sparked a tussle between the Signature driver and Leclerc for provisional pole.

With two minutes remaining Leclerc looked to have nailed it with a 48.240s, just 0.009s ahead of Albon. Perhaps a little surprisingly the majority of the field failed to improve its times in the final stages including the top two, meaning Leclerc will head the grid for race one from Albon.

All eyes will be on the street circuit of Norisring after the Euro F3 series came under heavy scrutiny due to a recent pattern of high-speed and dramatic crashes, leading to the Board of F3 to demand action from the FIA.