Gregorie Saucy took pole position for the Formula 3 feature race at the Red Bull Ring as track limit violations shook up the qualifying order.
Paul Aron was top of the order when the chequered flag fell and looked set to earn Prema’s first pole of 2023 as nobody bettered his pace. However Aron then had his fastest lap deleted and dropped to fifth on the grid, promoting Saucy to pole.
Aron was not the only driver to have laptimes, with the order changing multiple times even after the field returned to the pits and he ended up gaining back a place.
It was Prema’s Dino Beganovic who set the pace early in qualifying with a 1m20.518s. He remained top of the order until after the mid-session lull, when most drivers came into the pits for fresh tyres.
The field then went out almost simultaneously for the second half of the session, bunching up the field and causing traffic problems for many drivers. That didn’t stop improvements, and laptimes tumbled late on.
Trident’s points leader Gabriel Bortoleto, Beganovic and Aron swapped times at the top of the order, with Aron ending the session with a 1m20.283s as the benchmark. Saucy’s 1m20.457s was enough to put him second, before Aron’s fastest lap was deleted.
Bortoleto took third, ahead of Jenzer Motorsport’s Nikita Bedrin and Aron. But Bedrin was one of the last to have his fastest lap deleted and he dropped all the way down to 22nd.
Caio Collet benefited to qualify fifth, and less than a tenth of a second slower than Saucy.
Williams juniors Zak O’Sullivan and Franco Colapinto line up sixth and seventh for Sunday, while Oliver Goethe, Kaylen Frederick and Christian Mansell complete the top 10.
Title contender Pepe Marti had a difficult session and was already outside of the top 10 before a laptime deletion left him 12th but with reversed-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race, while a wide moment at the final corner for Gabriele Mini denied him a chance to improve on his final lap and he qualified 11th.
|1||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||1m20.457s||14|
|5||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m20.547s||+0.090s||14|
|7||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||1m20.604s||+0.147s||14|
|9||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||1m20.653s||+0.196s||14|
|10||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||1m20.744s||+0.287s||14|
|11||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||1m20.798s||+0.341s||14|
|12||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||1m20.819s||+0.362s||15|
|13||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||1m20.824s||+0.367s||13|
|14||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1m20.980s||+0.523s||13|
|15||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||1m20.984s||+0.527s||15|
|16||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||1m21.071s||+0.615s||13|
|17||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||1m21.083s||+0.626s||14|
|18||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.127s||+0.670s||14|
|19||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||1m21.142s||+0.685s||14|
|21||Sophia Floersch||PHM by Charouz||1m21.267s||+0.810s||14|
|22||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.320s||+0.863s||14|
|23||McKenzy Cresswell||PHM by Charouz||1m21.362s||+0.905s||14|
|26||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m21.520s||+1.063s||14|
|27||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||1m21.934s||+1.477s||14|
|28||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m22.262s||+1.805s||15|
|29||Roberto Faria||PHM by Charouz||1m22.375s||+1.918s||14|