Vesti pips Beckmann for F3 pole in Austria

Reigning Formula Regional European champion Frederik Vesti claimed pole with a last-ditch effort in qualifying for the second round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the Red Bull Ring

Vesti pips Beckmann for F3 pole in Austria

The Prema Racing-run Dane, along with Trident's David Beckmann, provided heartbreak for his team-mate Logan Sargeant, who was unable to defend his position at the top of the order because of a technical problem.

Sargeant headed the field when the session was red-flagged for a second time, thanks to Red Bull Junior Igor Fraga pulling off the road and parking by the side of the track on the approach to Turn 1.

The American then couldn't get his car restarted for the final five-minute burst, and despite Prema exhortations to turn it "all off and then on again" the reset didn't work.

Sargeant (below) was still fastest when the chequered flag fell, but Vesti and Beckmann were on quicker laps, and Vesti finally claimed pole by 0.123 seconds.

That was redemption for Vesti, who'd set a quicker time than Sargeant's before the second stoppage, only to have that lap taken away for running too wide at Turn 9.

First-round winner and championship leader Oscar Piastri this time brought up the rear of the Prema trio, the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup champion and Renault F1 Junior completing a 1-3-4 for the Italian team.

Even so, it should be remembered that the Australian won last weekend's opening race from the second row of the grid.

Reigning German Formula 4 title winner Theo Pourchaire made a big step forward from the opening weekend, the Frenchman setting a time good enough for fifth in his ART Grand Prix machine, while the second Trident car of free-practice pacesetter Lirim Zendeli will share the third row with him.

Alex Peroni looked good at the beginning of the session for Campos Racing, and then popped into the top three again in the closing stages, but he fell to seventh.

Briton Olli Caldwell made it a very good session for Trident - he recovered from demolishing the Turn 10 'DRS' polystyrene board in free practice to make it all three of the Italian squad's cars in the top eight.

Last weekend's polesitter Sebastian Fernandez was fastest on the opening runs for ART, and was trying to sneak in an extra flier before the mid-session lull when he lost it at the Turn 7 left-hander and spun into the gravel, coming to rest up against the barrier to cause the first red flag.

The Spanish-Venezuelan plummeted to ninth as others improved, and will share the fifth row with last weekend's reversed-grid race winner Liam Lawson - the Red Bull Junior completed the top 10 in his Hitech GP car.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing 1m20.378s
2 David Beckmann Trident 0.123s
3 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing 0.192s
4 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing 0.212s
5 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 0.276s
6 Lirim Zendeli Trident 0.331s
7 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 0.356s
8 Olli Caldwell Trident 0.389s
9 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 0.438s
10 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 0.475s
11 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 0.493s
12 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 0.557s
13 Max Fewtrell Hitech GP 0.582s
14 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 0.648s
15 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 0.737s
16 Jake Hughes HWA 0.744s
17 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 0.778s
18 Roman Stanek Charouz 0.791s
19 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 0.846s
20 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing 0.850s
21 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA 0.891s
22 David Schumacher Charouz 0.914s
23 Jack Doohan HWA 0.966s
24 Igor Fraga Charouz 1.037s
25 Clement Novalak Carlin 1.058s
26 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 1.149s
27 Enaam Ahmed Carlin 1.166s
28 Cameron Das Carlin 1.169s
29 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 1.228s
30 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 1.848s


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