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PRESS RELEASE/FIA Formula F3 – Photo: supplied

Marcus Armstrong achieved his first pole position of the season in a frantic FIA Formula 3 Qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring. The PREMA Racing ace was able to hold on to P1 ahead of Max Fewtrell and Jüri Vips, despite a late red flag interrupting his session.

Qualifying started with all 30 cars swarming onto the short Spielberg circuit and it was the continually dominant PREMAs who set the standard, with Jehan Daruvala and Robert Shwartzman enjoying an early tussle out in front.

Armstrong added a third PREMA to the party, but the trio were later broken up as ART Grand Prix displayed their much-improved pace. David Beckmann moved up to third, with teammates Fewtrell and Christian Lundgaard slipping in behind him.

Shwartzman’s session was cut short as he suffered a technical hitch and was forced to pull over onto the bank at Turn 4, coming to a swift halt. Following this, Armstrong took the reins and ensured a PREMA remained on top, nabbing P1. Further drama ensued when Logan Sargeant took flight at the final turn and thundered into the barriers, bringing out a red flag. Thankfully, the American walked away from his car unscathed.

Ahead of the red flag, Armstrong had set a purple first sector and lost momentum as he looked to cement P1. Meanwhile, Vips and teammate Leonardo Pulcini managed to complete their laps and hauled themselves up to third and fourth ahead of the brief break in action.

The session resumed with just four minutes left on the clock and Vips wasted no time in getting the running back underway, narrowly missing out on pole by 0.180s, leaving Armstrong clinging onto the position.

Daruvala and Lundgaard were each able to set fast final laps and haul themselves back up the order, but neither times were as impressive as Fewtrell’s who claimed P2 at the death, just 0.123s short of Armstrong.

This meant that the Kiwi maintained pole, with the Briton from ART in second and Vips third. Daruvala and Lundgaard completed the top five, ahead of Jake Hughes, Pulcini, Pedro Piquet, Beckmann and Sebastian Fernandez. However, the Spaniard will drop three places due to a penalty earned in Free Practice. Fewtrell and Vips will both look to contend with the power of Armstrong’s PREMA in Race 1 tomorrow morning at 10.25am. (Local time)

1 Marcus Armstrong PREMA Racing 1:19.716 14
2 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix 1:19.839 16
3 Jüri Vips Hitech Grand Prix 1:19.896 17
4 Jehan Daruvala PREMA Racing 1:19.934 14
5 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:20.003 14
6 Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:20.075 16
7 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech Grand Prix 1:20.188 17
8 Pedro Piquet Trident 1:20.190 14
9 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix 1:20.203 16
10 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing 1:20.204 15
11 Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:20.234 16
12 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 1:20.277 6
13 Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:20.301 16
14 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1:20.308 15
15 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident 1:20.323 14
16 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 1:20.328 14
17 Liam Lawson   1:20.386 16
18 Felipe Drugovich Carlin Buzz Racing 1:20.407 14
19 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport 1:20.427 14
20 Niko Kari Trident 1:20.476 14
21 Teppei Natori Carlin Buzz Racing 1:20.539 15
22 Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport 1:20.592 17
23 Ye Yifei Hitech Grand Prix 1:20.662 16
24 Logan Sargeant Carlin Buzz Racing 1:20.673 11
25 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:20.778 15
26 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:20.887 16
27 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 1:20.959 15
28 Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:21.319 16
29 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport 1:21.658 15
30 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 1:21.935 15


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