Chloe Chambers came close, but not quite close enough to securing her first pole position in her third F1 ACADEMY weekend. Despite the bittersweet feeling, the Haas driver is determined to make the most of it to claim her maiden victory in Round 3.

Two personal best Qualifying performances for the American see her line up on the front row for the first time in both races. Fighting hard with Abbi Pulling, the Alpine driver managed to pip her on their final flying attempts, denying her either pole by 0.059s and 0.076s respectively.

“Of course, I have to come out of it happy,” Chambers reflected after Qualifying. “It’s my best Qualifying result by far and to have two of them in the same weekend makes it even better.

“But of course, you have to have a little bit of reservation (at) not getting that pole and having it be so close. At the same time, it’s really nice to see how close the competition is. I’m glad to have grabbed P2 for both races and I think it puts us in a good spot for tomorrow.”

Chambers has come into her own across the opening three rounds. Her performance on Friday comes off the back of her maiden podium in Miami, where she turned a P7 start into a P3 finish.

Clearly on a charge and with a Qualifying result to match her race pace potential, Chambers knows her results bode well for chances of putting herself in the mix for the title. With third place in the Drivers’ Standings, Maya Weug, starting back in P12 for both races and with only Pulling ahead of her, she’s got a clear view down to Turn 1.

Chambers will be looking to put Campos Racing on the top step at their home event
Chambers will be looking to put Campos Racing on the top step at their home event

“The momentum is a really good tool to use,” she said. “Coming off of a really good couple of results in Miami after a not-so-great Qualifying is good for my confidence coming into this round. Of course, I know that my racecraft has been really good, so hopefully I can kind of use that tomorrow to turn that P2 into hopefully my first win.

“I’m hoping for a good start (and I’ll) try to get into the lead as quickly as possible. This track is a little bit tougher to pass on than most other tracks, so (you) have to make the moves early. Hopefully because we’re running right after Formula 1, the grip level will still be high, and I'll have a good launch off the line and get straight into the lead.”

READ MORE: QUALIFYING: Pulling pips Chambers to sweep Barcelona pole positions

Whilst Saturday’s race could be a more textbook affair, the potential of rain for Race 2 could throw a curveball the field’s way. With limited running in wet conditions, Chambers recognises that she is at a disadvantage to pole-sitter Pulling, but Zandvoort in-season testing has given her added assurance.

When asked whether those could work in her favour, Chambers replied: “Of course, Abbi’s really good in the wet. I’ve been working on my wet weather driving since I don’t have much experience of it. I’m feeling pretty confident.

“I think Sunday will be a really fun race either way, so I’m excited to see how the weather plays into that. If it’s wet weather, it’s dry weather, I’m excited for the race.”