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Saucy claims F3 pole in Austria as track limits violations shake up order

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

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. 

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 1m20.457s 14
2 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m20.461s +0.004s 13
3 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 1m20.474s +0.017s 15
4 Paul Aron Prema 1m20.521s +0.064s 14
5 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m20.547s +0.090s 14
6 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 1m20.566s +0.109s 13
7 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m20.604s +0.147s 14
8 Oliver Goethe Trident 1m20.642s +0.185s 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
20 Ollie Gray Carlin 1m21.207s +0.750s 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
24 Hunter Yeany Carlin 1m21.509s +1.052s 14
25 Ido Cohen Carlin 1m21.518s +1.061s 15
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
30 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m46.440s +25.983s 15