Williams F1 protege Stroll beats Russell to Red Bull Ring F3 poles

Williams protege Lance Stroll pipped George Russell in a thrilling second qualifying session for the Formula 3 European Championship round at the Red Bull Ring to earn a double pole

Williams F1 protege Stroll beats Russell to Red Bull Ring F3 poles

Russell was on pole for race two going into the final minute, only for Canadian Stroll to wrestle his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes to a time just 0.002 seconds quicker than the Fenlander's Hitech Grand Prix machine.

The effort came at the end of a tense session for championship leader Stroll and team-mate Gunther, who had languished down the times entering the final stages.

"It was a bit nerve-wracking," admitted Stroll. "In the beginning we actually came into the pitlane because of traffic and we came out still in traffic!

"It was, 'How the hell are we gonna get out of here?' and I said to my engineer, 'We need to find a way out of this.'

"It was only in the last two laps I had a chance to improve and I nailed both laps."

Russell's last lap began with him running wide at Turn 1 and breaching track limits, and fell four tenths short anyway as he caught up Callum Ilott over the last couple of corners.

Ilott and his Van Amersfoort Racing machine were well in the mix for pole, and the 17-year-old held it briefly with a couple of minutes remaining, but he ended up third overall.

On second-best times, Ilott's last-lap effort moves him up to a front-row start for race three, while Russell drops to sixth.

Superb comebacks from Motopark-run Red Bull junior Niko Kari and Mucke Motorsport's David Beckmann gave them fourth and fifth respectively, after Kari missed all of morning free practice and Beckmann only got out for the last 20 minutes of the morning running.

On second-best times Beckmann - another to briefly hold pole in the closing stages - lost his third on the grid for race three to a track-limits penalty, putting Kari up to third and the only-just-16 German down to fifth.

Kari's Motopark/Red Bull stablemate Sergio Sette Camara recovered from his first-qualifying crash to go sixth fastest, but drops to 11th on second-best times.

Gunther was unlucky to catch up Peter Li over the critical last couple of laps, the German ending up seventh on both grids.

Prema rookie Ralf Aron was eighth fastest, but advances to fourth on second-best times for race three, while Mucke's Mikkel Jensen and Motopark racer Joel Eriksson completed the top 10 for race two.

For race three, Eriksson moves up to eighth from Ben Barnicoat (Hitech) and Jensen.

RACE TWO QUALIFYING

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.178s -
2 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.180s 0.002s
3 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.274s 0.096s
4 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.300s 0.122s
5 David Beckmann kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.305s 0.127s
6 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.327s 0.149s
7 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.339s 0.161s
8 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.359s 0.181s
9 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.373s 0.195s
10 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.439s 0.261s
11 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.651s 0.473s
12 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.651s 0.473s
13 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.691s 0.513s
14 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.740s 0.562s
15 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.932s 0.754s
16 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.015s 0.837s
17 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.035s 0.857s
18 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.056s 0.878s
19 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.209s 1.031s
20 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.251s 1.073s
21 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 1m24.457s 1.279s
22 Weiron Tan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m25.379s 2.201s

RACE THREE QUALIFYING

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.240s -
2 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.319s 0.079s
3 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.439s 0.199s
4 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.441s 0.201s
5 David Beckmann kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.448s 0.208s
6 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.479s 0.239s
7 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.498s 0.258s
8 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.645s 0.405s
9 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.707s 0.467s
10 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.742s 0.502s
11 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m23.748s 0.508s
12 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m23.809s 0.569s
13 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.099s 0.859s
14 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.154s 0.914s
15 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.240s 1.000s
16 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.439s 1.199s
17 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.447s 1.207s
18 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m24.459s 1.219s
19 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.511s 1.271s
20 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m24.695s 1.455s
21 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 1m24.791s 1.551s
22 Weiron Tan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m26.750s 3.510s


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Prema's Gunther on F3 Red Bull Ring pole after Eriksson penalty
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