This time around at the fifth race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Carlin’s new guest addition for the rest of the season, Russia’s Daniil Kvyat secured the second successive pole position sweep in a row, as Prema Powerteam’s Alex Lynn did the very same last time out at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago.
Dr. Helmut Marko has some vested interest in the youngster, as he closely watched the Red Bull Junior team member, who showed his mettle around the 4.326km long track, which is under Red Bull ownership, as well as topping the practice sessions earlier that weekend. The championship’s sole Austrian racer, Prema’s Lucas Auer, was looking to make his mark once again, this time on his home track, but qualified 7th, 12th and 9th in the respective races for the weekend’s action.
kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport’s hope for title success this season, Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist, came out fighting as always, came second best to Kvyat in the race for Pole Position. To his credit, he was always in the hunt for the top part of the grid, but came out with 2nd place starts for races 1 and 3 and starts third in race 3.
Current points leader, Ferrari Driver Academy protégé, Raffaele Marciello, had his worse qualifying results to date, as the weather was causing some havoc in the Styrian countryside, with both the Italian driver and Lynn suffering as a result. The Brit will start from 17th, 15th and 21st, which is not what the Essex driver will have wanted following his great results at Brands Hatch.
Eddie Cheever, however, made his intentions clear in the torrid conditions, as he had his best run in qualifying so far this season, being Prema Powerteam’s highest placed driver, with a welcomed 4th place spot for race 1, following that up with another couple of top ten places with 6th for race 2 and 9th for race 3. This was following his bad run of form, as he looks to make amends for his accidental collision with Lynn during the final Brands Hatch race.
Marciello will start 13th in race 1, 16th in race 2, but managed to secure P2 behind Kvyat, but was well off the pace by around half a second, so it seems like damage limitation will be key to keep that healthy lead he currently has in the points standing.
The biggest surprise in the sessions was Lucas Wolf from URD Rennsport, who secured 3rd on the grid for race 1, before he found out that he was in P2 for race 2, showing his best performances to date in qualifying so far this season, and followed that up with P6 for race 3, showing that his improvements are there to see, but would his race pace show even more…
Jordan King, the British F3 rookie, was able to secure P3 for race 3, as well as P5 and P9 for races 1 and 2 respectively, showing that he is also showing a turn of speed and some major promise.
Kvyat was clear in his analysis on his own progression as a race driver developing his craft behind the wheel, as he was not looking to make any mistakes in search of the perfect run. He said that qualifying has been an issue for him last season, but he is clearly hopeful of what results he is searching for: “I am particularly happy having scored three pole positions at the Red Bull Ring, because I just love this track. Now, I want to finish the three races in the same position as I am starting from…”
The hills are alive, but with the roar of racing, as the strong turnout for the FIA F3 European Championship will look forward to some sunshine at Spielburg to enjoy their fights on track…