Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Eriksson beats Norris to double pole

Joel Eriksson will start both of Sunday's Formula 3 European Championship races at the Red Bull Ring from pole, with Lando Norris joining him on the front row for both

Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Eriksson beats Norris to double pole

BMW junior Eriksson looked utterly supreme for most of the session, driving his Motopark Dallara-Volkswagen with great flair, and as the chequered flag flew he had set three laps quicker than points leader Norris's best.

But although McLaren Formula 1 junior Norris pulled a great lap out of the bag right at the end, the Carlin driver fell short of Eriksson's 1m23.431s best by just 0.003 seconds.

Even if Norris had pipped Eriksson, the Swede would have grabbed pole for the third race - set by second-fastest times - owing to his other quick laps.

"It [the overall fastest] was a bloody good lap actually," Eriksson said afterwards.

"Everything was spot-on, and there was a good peak in the tyre.

"In the race this morning we had some issues in sector two and we've fixed it, and directly I felt much more confident.

"I started pushing, got to a 23.4, and thought, 'shit, it's not going to get any better than that', and then I did another to get as close as possible - everything was perfect."

Norris, who reported that the handling issues that held him back on Friday were sorted by the first race - won by Callum Ilott - felt that earlier in the session he was pushing his entry speeds into the slow corners too much, compromising his exits.

"It was just a case of getting better exits and gaining more and more down the straights," he said.

"It felt really good, and compared to yesterday it was a good improvement."

Ilott got bumped off the front row late in the session by Norris, and then his Prema Powerteam-run car was demoted on the last lap by Hitech GP's Nikita Mazepin.

Mazepin's second-best lap was good enough for fourth on the grid for race three, behind Ilott, in one of the Russian's best sessions to date.

Carlin's Force India F1 protege Jehan Daruvala (another driver to improve on the last lap) and Hitech's Jake Hughes were fifth and sixth overall, but slip to fifth-row positions for race three on second-best times.

Another Hitech driver, Ralf Aron, also went quicker at the last gasp to take seventh, and starts fifth for the finale, while Carlin's Ferdinand Habsburg is on the fourth row for both races on his home ground.

Maximilian Gunther looked spectacular on-track again but it was a bad session for Norris's closest title challenger, as the Prema-run German driver took ninth overall but improves to sixth on the grid for race three.

Gunther is 70 points adrift of Norris, and needs to prevent the Briton outscoring him by five points in Sunday's two races to take the title to the Hockenheim finale.

Prema's Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou and Hitech's Honda protege Tadasuke Makino each took a top-10 slot, 10th for race two and eighth for race three respectively.

Race two starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.431s
2 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.003s
3 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.253s
4 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.300s
5 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.317s
6 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.336s
7 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.339s
8 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.349s
9 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.395s
10 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.398s
11 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.481s
12 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.487s
13 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.503s
14 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.509s
15 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.529s
16 David Beckmann Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.616s
17 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.629s
18 Devlin Defrancesco Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.890s
19 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.976s
20 Petru Florescu Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1.428s

Race three starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.545s
2 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.105s
3 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.211s
4 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.236s
5 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.296s
6 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.333s
7 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.344s
8 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.371s
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.373s
10 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.386s
11 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.439s
12 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.447s
13 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.497s
14 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 0.549s
15 David Beckmann Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.552s
16 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.583s
17 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.614s
18 Devlin Defrancesco Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.860s
19 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0.916s
20 Petru Florescu Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1.502s

shares
comments
European F3 winner Ilott hails Prema mechanics for overnight work
Previous article

European F3 winner Ilott hails Prema mechanics for overnight work

Next article

Red Bull Ring European F3: Eriksson wins tense race two from Norris

Red Bull Ring European F3: Eriksson wins tense race two from Norris
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Plus

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it

FIA F3
Oct 6, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021