Joel Eriksson secured a double pole position for races two and three at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday after denying Lando Norris by the smallest of margins.
The Swede took his first pole position since race three at the Hungaroring back in June by just 0.003 seconds during Saturday’s second qualifying session of the weekend, and after his podium finish during race one earlier in the day, the Motopark driver will go into Sunday’s races high on confidence.
Likewise will Norris, who heads into the final two races of the weekend seventy-points to the good in the championship over Maximilian Günther, and with two front row starts to come and with his rival struggling in the lower reaches of the top ten, it is not inconceivable that the Carlin driver could clinch the title on Sunday.
For race two on Sunday morning, Nikita Mazepin will line-up third on the grid for Hitech Grand Prix, with the Russian looking to put the disappointment of his early retirement of race one behind him after he was pitched into a spin at turn three by Harrison Newey.
Joining the Sahara Force India F1 Team test driver on the second row is race one winner Callum Ilott in the best of the Prema Powerteam entries, with the Italian outfit enduring a tough session, with Günther ninth, Guan Yu Zhou tenth and Mick Schumacher twelfth.
Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala and Ferdinand Habsburg will start race two from fifth and eighth respectively, with Hitech Grand Prix pair Jake Hughes and Ralf Aron in between them, but such was the closeness of the session, less than a tenth of a second separated fourth and tenth on the grid.
The grid for race three was determined by a driver’s second best time of the session, and Eriksson again denied Norris, this time by 0.105 seconds, while Ilott and Mazepin switch places on the second row, with Aron and Günther on row three.
Habsburg will start the final race of his home weekend from seventh ahead of Tadasuke Makino of Hitech Grand Prix, with Daruvala and Hughes this time completing the top ten.
British drivers have won the past eight races, but Eriksson, amongst others, will be hoping to break that run on Sunday, while Günther will be hoping for a little bit of misfortune to come Norris’ way if he wants to take the championship battle all the way to the season finale at the Hockenheimring.
Red Bull Ring Race 2 Qualifying Result
|3||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.684|
|4||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||1:23.731|
|6||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.767|
|7||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.770|
|9||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:23.826|
|10||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||1:23.829|
|11||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.912|
|12||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:23.918|
|13||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.934|
|14||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.940|
|15||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.960|
|19||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||1:24.407|
Red Bull Ring Race 3 Qualifying Result
|3||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||1:23.756|
|4||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.781|
|5||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.841|
|6||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:23.878|
|8||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.916|
|10||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.931|
|11||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.984|
|12||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.992|
|13||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||1:24.042|
|14||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:24.094|
|16||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:24.128|
|19||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||1:24.461|