Red Bull Ring GP3: Russell heads tight pack to claim maiden pole

Mercedes Formula 1 junior driver George Russell claimed his maiden GP3 pole position as he beat his ART Grand Prix team-mate Jack Aitken in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring GP3: Russell heads tight pack to claim maiden pole

Russell, a race-winner in the European Formula 3 championship, set a best lap of 1m19.114s as the top five runners all qualified within 0.2 seconds.

Aitken, who had held provisional pole after the first runs had been completed at the Austrian circuit, could not improve on his final run and the Renault F1 junior driver ended up 0.072s adrift of his fellow Brit.

Dorian Boccolacci finished third for Trident ahead of reigning Euroformula Open champion Leonardo Pulcini and his Arden International team-mate Steijn Schothorst.

Giuliano Alesi, son of F1 race winner Jean, made a late improvement to take sixth place just in front of fellow Trident driver Ryan Tveter and ART's Anthoine Hubert.

Alesi was one of a number of drivers to have off-track moments as the GP3 field tested the limits of the short, 10-turn circuit.

The French driver, who is also a member of the Ferrari driver academy set-up, skated across the gravel at the exit of the downhill Turn 4 right-hander as the 30-minute session approached half distance.

He managed to keep his car away from the wall and was able to rejoin via an escape road at the edge of the track.

Red Bull junior driver Niko Kari finished ninth, as Barcelona feature race winner and current championship leader, Nirei Fukuzumi, completed the top 10 in the final ART-run car.

Jenzer Motorsport pair Alessio Lorandi and Arjun Maini - who won the sprint race last time out in Spain - finished 11th and 12th.

Practice pacesetter Marcos Siebert finished down in 18th place, with Sauber F1 development driver Tatiana Calderon bringing up the rear of the field for DAMS.

QUALIFYING RESULT:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1m19.114s -
2 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1m19.186s 0.072s
3 Dorian Boccolacci Trident 1m19.255s 0.141s
4 Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 1m19.258s 0.144s
5 Steijn Schothorst Arden International 1m19.292s 0.178s
6 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1m19.412s 0.298s
7 Ryan Tveter Trident 1m19.425s 0.311s
8 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1m19.440s 0.326s
9 Niko Kari Arden International 1m19.479s 0.365s
10 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1m19.484s 0.370s
11 Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1m19.493s 0.379s
12 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1m19.530s 0.416s
13 Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 1m19.561s 0.447s
14 Julien Falchero Campos Racing 1m19.596s 0.482s
15 Kevin Jorg Trident 1m19.680s 0.566s
16 Bruno Baptista DAMS 1m19.778s 0.664s
17 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1m19.789s 0.675s
18 Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 1m19.832s 0.718s
19 Tatiana Calderon DAMS 1m19.872s 0.758s

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Red Bull Ring GP3: Russell converts pole to maiden series victory

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