Ilott Denies Günther Opening Pole at the Red Bull Ring

Callum Ilott will start race one from Pole Position in Austria - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

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

153Callum IlottGBRPrema Powerteam1:23.301
23Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam1:23.317
31Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark1:23.496
431Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:23.548
511Tadasuke MakinoJAPHitech Grand Prix1:23.574
699Nikita MazepinRUSHitech Grand Prix1:23.585
755David BeckmannGERMotopark1:23.588
896Joey MawsonAUSVan Amersfoort Racing1:23.624
917Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing1:23.651
1062Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin1:23.694
117Ralf AronESTHitech Grand Prix1:23.717
1234Jake HughesGBRHitech Grand Prix1:23.727
138Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Powerteam1:23.728
145Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing1:23.744
1525Mick SchumacherGERPrema Powerteam1:23.775
1627Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin1:23.888
1733Marino SatoJAPMotopark1:23.998
1821Devlin DeFrancescoCANCarlin1:24.189
1947Keyvan Andres SooriGERMotopark1:24.413
2010Petru FlorescuROMMotopark1:25.132