Austria GP3: Ghiotto beats Ocon to pole

Luca Ghiotto will start Saturday’s GP3 feature race at the Red Bull Ring from pole position after coming out on top against Esteban Ocon in qualifying.

Austria GP3: Ghiotto beats Ocon to pole
Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Alex Palou, Campos Racing
Emil Bernstorff, Arden International

Times tumbled throughout  a session that began in cool conditions, with Ghiotto dominating the opening half, holding an advantage of 0.350s over nearest rival Emil Bernstorff with a time of 1m20.039s.

That was beaten first of all by Marvin Kirchhofer as the drivers made a final push in the latter stages of the session, the German breaking the 1m20s barrier with a 1m19.803s, before ART teammate Ocon lowered the bar with a 1m19.748s.

Alex Palou then went quickest on a 1.19.624s, only to spin at the end of his next flying lap at the final corner, coming perilously close to the barriers in his Campos-run machine, bringing out the yellow flags in the process.

By that time, Ocon had returned to the top spot with a 1m19.555s, before Ghiotto wrested pole position from the reigning European Formula 3 champion with a 1m19.350s.

Palou will start third despite his late scare ahead of Kirchhofer, with Bernstorff and Matt Parry making it an all-British third row.

Completing the top 10 on the grid are Standy Stuvik, Ferrari Academy member Antonio Fuoco, Jimmy Eriksson and Mitchell Gilbert, with practice pacesetter and Nissan factory driver Jann Mardenborough unable to qualify higher than 12th.

Qualifying results:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
Luca Ghiotto Trident 1'19.350  
Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1'19.555 0.205
Alex Palou Campos Racing 1'19.624 0.274
Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1'19.803 0.453
Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1'19.823 0.473
Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1'19.877 0.527
Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1'19.970 0.620
Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1'19.977 0.627
Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1'20.127 0.777
10  Mitchell Gilbert Carlin 1'20.130 0.780
11  Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1'20.144 0.794
12  Jann Mardenborough Carlin 1'20.175 0.825
13  Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1'20.296 0.946
14  Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 1'20.333 0.983
15  Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1'20.346 0.996
16  Artur Janosz Trident 1'20.379 1.029
17  Oscar Tunjo Trident 1'20.399 1.049
18  Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1'20.404 1.054
19  Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1'20.431 1.081
20  Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 1'20.776 1.426
21  Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1'20.787 1.437
22  Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1'20.927 1.577
23  Alex Bosak Arden International 1'21.172 1.822
24  Samin Gomez Campos Racing 1'21.770 2.420
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