Callum Ilott secured pole position for the opening race of the penultimate weekend of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship season as Prema Powerteam locked out the front row at the Red Bull Ring.
It was a thrilling end to the session, with the Briton denying team-mate Maximilian Günther top spot by the narrowest of margins, with Ilott’s 1:23.301s just 0.016 seconds ahead of the German.
Günther is hoping this weekend to make some inroads into Lando Norris’ healthy championship lead, but he also needs the Briton to have some bad luck along the way. The Carlin driver will start the opening race of the weekend from fourth on the grid, just alongside Motopark’s Joel Eriksson, with the current top four in the championship securing the first four spots on the grid, albeit in a jumbled order.
Hitech Grand Prix drivers will share the third row of the grid, with Tadasuke Makino, who has found some form in recent races, ahead of team-mate Nikita Mazepin, while David Beckmann will start seventh for Motopark.
Joey Mawson set the eighth fastest time for Van Amersfoort Racing but drops to eleventh on the grid thanks to the penalty carried over from the Nurburgring last time out, with his team-mate Harrison Newey moving up as a result.
Another driver with a Nurburgring penalty to take is Ferdinand Habsburg, with the Carlin driver dropping to thirteenth as a result, meaning Ralf Aron moves up to ninth on the grid for Hitech Grand Prix.
Jake Hughes should have inherited tenth on the grid, but the final Hitech Grand Prix drive on the grid was forced to take an engine change after free practice earlier in the day, meaning a ten-place grid penalty for the opening round. This, coupled with the penalties for Mawson and Habsburg, means Guan Yu Zhou will start tenth on the grid for Prema Powerteam despite qualifying thirteenth.
Red Bull Ring Race 1 Qualifying Result
|1||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||1:23.301|
|2||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:23.317|
|5||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.574|
|6||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.585|
|8||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.624|
|9||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.651|
|11||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.717|
|12||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||1:23.727|
|13||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||1:23.728|
|14||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:23.744|
|15||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||1:23.775|
|19||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||1:24.413|