Ocon Takes Red Bull Ring Pole after Thrilling Qualifying


Esteban Ocon took his fourteenth pole position of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship season in an exciting qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring where four drivers were fighting for top spot throughout.

Pole changed hands three times in the final moments of the session, with Prema Powerteam driver Ocon coming out on top from his main championship rival Max Verstappen of Van Amersfoort Racing and Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin.

Verstappen was the first to take top spot in the closing stages before being usurped by Blomqvist, before Ocon beat them all to be the only driver to set a time underneath 1:25s. Verstappen had time to do one more lap but could only move into second.

Giovinazzi was on course for a faster lap that could have taken him to pole, but he encountered traffic and headed to the pits, and will therefore start from fourth. It is a good return to form for the young Italian, who had been struggling in the recent rounds at the Norisring and at Moscow Raceway.

Antonio Fuoco was fifth for Prema Powerteam ahead of Jake Dennis of Carlin, while 0.039s covered positions seven through to eleven. Gustavo Menezes was seventh for Van Amersfoort Racing, ahead of Mücke Motorsport duo Lucas Auer and Felix Rosenqvist, while Ed Jones beat Carlin team-mate Jordan King to tenth.

Red Bull Ring Race 1 Qualifying Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Esteban Ocon FRA Prema Powerteam 1:24.856
2 Max Verstappen NED Van Amersfoort Racing 1:25.006
3 Tom Blomqvist GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:25.045
4 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:25.206
5 Antonio Fuoco ITA Prema Powerteam 1:25.353
6 Jake Dennis GBR Carlin 1:25.367
7 Gustavo Menezes USA Van Amersfoort Racing 1:25.450
8 Lucas Auer AUT Mücke Motorsport 1:25.454
9 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mücke Motorsport 1:25.473
10 Ed Jones UAE Carlin 1:25.474
11 Jordan King GBR Carlin 1:25.489
12 Nicholas Latifi CAN Prema Powerteam 1:25.555
13 Dennis van de Laar NED Prema Powerteam 1:25.769
14 Felix Serralles PUE Team West-Tec F3 1:25.876
15 Roy Nissany ISR Mücke Motorsport 1:25.920
16 Sean Galael INO Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1:26.047
17 Santino Ferrucci USA EuroInternational 1:26.133
18 Alexander Toril ESP ThreeBond with T-sport 1:26.151
19 Richard Goddard AUS ThreeBond with T-sport 1:26.265
20 Tatiana Calderon COL Jo Zeller Racing 1:26.340
21 Jules Szymkowiak NED Van Amersfoort Racing 1:26.372
22 Hector Hurst GBR Team West-Tec F3 1:26.544
23 Sandro Zeller SWI Jo Zeller Racing 1:26.549
24 John Bryant-Meisner SWE Fortec Motorsports 1:26.683
25 Michele Beretta ITA EuroInternational 1:26.839
26 Alfonso Celis Jr MEX Fortec Motorsports 1:27.116