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Bortoleto fastest in red flag-hit F3 qualifying in Melbourne

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Gabriel Bortoleto has taken pole position for Formula 3’s first visit to Australia in a qualifying session impacted by three red flags. 

Bortoleto managed to avoid the drama to qualify with a time of 1m33.025s, 0.171 seconds quicker than Gregoire Saucy in second. 

The first red flag was brought out as drivers started their first flying laps. Pepe Marti found the wall at the exit of Turn 10 in a similar incident to that of Jonny Edgar which stopped running in practice. 

Running resumed with 24 minutes on the clock and drivers were quick to head back out on track.  

Franco Colapinto set the early pace and would stay at the top of the times until after the second red flag, this time brought out by Kaylen Frederick.

The ART Grand Prix driver had been trying to finish his lap when he hit traffic. As he tried to avoid the traffic, he ran wide at the final corner, hitting the wall at speed and bringing out the red flags with less than five minutes on the clock. 

It was a dash to the track once the track turned green again for the final time, with everybody but Bortoleto and the two crashed cars immediately heading back out. Bortoleto hung back, putting him in the perfect position to improve at just the right time. 

Gabriele Mini and Saucy both took turns at the top of the order before Bortoleto put in his flying lap. Before anybody could answer the Trident driver, the red flags were brought out once again for two separate on incidents. Mini had stopped in the gravel after running wide in the opening sector. Meanwhile, Nikita Bedrin had hit the wall heavily at the exit of Turn 14, with his car in several pieces across the track. 

With the chequered flag already out, it meant most of the field would have to abort their final laps. 

Leonardo Fornaroli was one of the few to improve before the red flag. He placed fourth, just behind Mini and ahead of Zak O’Sullivan. 

Paul Aron took sixth ahead of Colapinto and Dino Beganovic. Luke Browning and Caio Collet completed the top 10. 

Sebastian Montoya will start on reversed-grid pole position, with Oliver Goethe alongside him on the front row.  

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 1m33.025s 15
2 Gregoire Saucy ART GP 1m33.196s +0.171s 16
3 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m33.307s +0.282s 15
4 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m33.370s +0.345s 14
5 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 1m33.373s +0.348s 15
6 Paul Aron Prema 1m33.408s +0.383s 15
7 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m33.588s +0.563s 16
8 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m33.604s +0.579s 15
9 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m33.765s +0.740s 16
10 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m33.876s +0.851s 16
11 Oliver Goethe Trident 1m34.017s +0.992s 14
12 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m34.094s +1.069s 17
13 Christian Mansell Campos Racing 1m34.227s +1.202s 15
14 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport 1m34.276s +1.251s 16
15 Nikola Tsolov ART GP 1m34.290s +1.265s 16
16 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 1m34.326s +1.301s 15
17 Kaylen Frederick ART GP 1m34.364s +1.339s 11
18 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.394s +1.369s 15
19 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.546s +1.521s 16
20 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.768s +1.743s 15
21 Ollie Gray Carlin 1m35.102s +2.077s 17
22 Hunter Yeany Carlin 1m35.132s +2.107s 15
23 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 1m35.133s +2.108s 15
24 Ido Cohen Carlin 1m35.359s +2.334s 16
25 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz 1m35.519s +2.494s 15
26 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz 1m35.688s +2.663s 14
27 Piotr Wisnicki PHM by Charouz 1m36.019s +2.994s 14
28 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 1m36.314s +3.289s 16
29 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 1m36.596s +3.571s 16
30 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m56.088s +23.063s 3