Red Bull Ring F3: Ferrari junior Armstrong on pole

Ferrari Formula 1 junior Marcus Armstrong took his first FIA Formula 3 pole position for Prema Racing in a dramatic and frenetic session at the Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull Ring F3: Ferrari junior Armstrong on pole

Armstrong looked the class of the field early on, establishing a laptime strong enough for pole before the drivers headed out for final efforts late in the session.

But a two-lap showdown was set up when Logan Sargeant crashed his Carlin-prepared car into the barrier at the final turn with just over four minutes to go, after a wheelie had left him unable to steer and he crashed heavily into the wall, apparently unhurt.

Just before the stoppage, the Hitech drivers Juri Vips and Leo Pulcini bailed themselves out of a drama by jumping into third and fourth respectively.

The Red Bull-supported Vips had been 22nd and Pulcini 16th, but both improved just before the Sargeant-induced red flag and were the only drivers who had time to do so before the incident.

Vips then improved further after the session went green to take second, but was jumped by the last car in the session to complete a lap, ART Grand Prix driver and reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion Max Fewtrell.

Fewtrell was 0.123s behind Armstrong for his best qualifying of the season so far, ahead of Vips and the second Prema Racing-run machine of Jehan Daruvala.

The third Prema car of points’ leader Shwartzman had been fourth and four tenths off pole when he pulled off the track on the run to Turn 4 early in the session.

His car was wheeled back behind the barrier and he took no further part. The SMP and Ferrari-backed Russian will start the race 12th, having not qualified lower than third or finished lower than fourth so far this season.

Behind Daruvala in fourth, Fewtrell’s teammate and fellow Renault junior Christian Lundgaard moved up to fifth late on, ahead of Paul Ricard pole-sitter Jake Hughes.

The HWA driver was knocked down from fourth where his late lap had initially put him.

Pulcini had to settle for seventh with his last effort, while Trident Racing’s Pedro Piquet moved up the order late on to secure eighth.

David Beckmann made sure all the ART drivers made the top 10 in ninth, while Sebastian Fernandez should have secured a best qualifying of the season in 10th for Campos Racing, but driving through a pitlane red light in practice docked him three places on the grid. 

Therefore, reigning German F4 champion Lirim Zendelli is promoted into the top 10 on the grid. Just one second covered the top 25 in the session, the closest the field has been in its three rounds so far - and only 0.4s separated the top 10.

Series debutant Giorgio Carrara was the best of the Jenzer drivers, qualifying 22nd on his season debut. His Red Bull-backed team-mate Yuki Tsunoda – who drove from 27th to seventh in the Paul Ricard feature race – was 27th in qualifying again.

Session results

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 26 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong
Prema Powerteam 14 1'19.716
2 2 United Kingdom Max Fewtrell
ART Grand Prix 16 1'19.839 0.123
3 21 Estonia Jüri Vips
HitechGP 17 1'19.896 0.180
4 27 India Jehan Daruvala
Prema Powerteam 14 1'19.934 0.218
5 3 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
ART Grand Prix 14 1'20.003 0.287
6 11 United Kingdom Jake Hughes
HWA AG 16 1'20.075 0.359
7 20 Italy Leonardo Pulcini
HitechGP 17 1'20.188 0.472
8 18 Brazil Pedro Piquet
Trident 14 1'20.190 0.474
9 1 Germany David Beckmann
ART Grand Prix 16 1'20.203 0.487
10 25 Venezuela Sebastian Fernandez
Campos Racing 15 1'20.204 0.488
11 7 Germany Lirim Zendeli
Charouz Racing System 16 1'20.234 0.518
12 28 Russian Federation Robert Shwartzman
Prema Powerteam 6 1'20.277 0.561
13 10 Netherlands Bent Viscaal
HWA AG 16 1'20.301 0.585
14 6 Netherlands Richard Verschoor
MP Motorsport 15 1'20.308 0.592
15 17 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
Trident 14 1'20.323 0.607
16 23 Australia Alex Peroni
Campos Racing 14 1'20.328 0.612
17 4 New Zealand Liam Lawson
MP Motorsport 16 1'20.386 0.670
18 30 Brazil Felipe Drugovich
Carlin 14 1'20.407 0.691
19 5 Finland Simo Laaksonen
MP Motorsport 14 1'20.427 0.711
20 19 Finland Niko Kari
Trident 14 1'20.476 0.760
21 29 Japan Teppei Natori
Carlin 15 1'20.539 0.823
22 15 Giorgio Carrara
Jenzer Motorsport 17 1'20.592 0.876
23 22 China Ye Yifei
HitechGP 16 1'20.662 0.946
24 31 United States Logan Sargeant
Carlin 11 1'20.673 0.957
25 8 Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Charouz Racing System 15 1'20.778 1.062
26 9 South Africa Raoul Hyman
Charouz Racing System 16 1'20.887 1.171
27 14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
Jenzer Motorsport 15 1'20.959 1.243
28 12 Germany Keyvan Andres
HWA AG 16 1'21.319 1.603
29 16 Germany Andreas Estner
Jenzer Motorsport 15 1'21.658 1.942
30 24 Italy Alessio Deledda
Campos Racing 15 1'21.935 2.219
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