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Sep 22

Pole position for Callum Ilott

Maximilian Günther will be starting from second place ahead of Joel Eriksson

F3, Pole position for Callum IlottBritish driver Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m23.301s) claimed pole position for the 25th race of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at the 4.318 kilometres long Red Bull Ring.

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Event: 09 Spielberg
Session: Qualifying 1
Track: Red Bull Ring / AUT
Pole position: Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast, 15.4 °C

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m23.317s) will be starting from second place ahead of Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m23.496s) and points’ leader Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m23.548s). Thus, all four drivers who are still in the title race are on one of the first two rows of the grid.

Rookie driver Lando Norris could already seal the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title this weekend and he wanted to get himself into the perfect position to do so during first qualifying. Towards the halfway point, the McLaren junior driver topped the time sheets, only for his compatriot Callum Ilott to take over first place soon after that. Maximilian Günther, currently second in the drivers’ standings, and Joel Eriksson, who ranks in third place in the championship, moved ahead of the Brit.

In the closing stages, other drivers managed to improve their personal best times, so that Lando Norris dropped back more and more. However, the title favourite struck back and moved up into third place with three minutes remaining. While Eriksson increased his speed once more soon after that, Norris eventually had to make do with fourth place.

In fifth place, Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.574s) confirmed his strong performance. Next up was Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.585s) while David Beckmann (Motopark, 1m23.588s), Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.624s), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.651s) and Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin, 1m23.694s) rounded out the top ten.

However, both Mawson and Habsburg came to Spielberg with a penalty. At the Nürburgring a fortnight ago, both incurred a three places’ grid penalty for causing a collision, so that their grid positions for tomorrow’s first race will be changed accordingly.

How close things are in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship became clear by the gap between pace setter Callum Ilott and Devlin DeFrancesco (Carlin, 1m24.189s), who is competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for the first time. The novice, who ended up 18th, was only 0.888 seconds slower than the stalwart.

Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “Pre-season testing was good here for us, so obviously I had a good baseline coming into this weekend. I was already quickest in free practice. Going into this session it took me a little while to get into the qualifying. Just two laps towards the end I put it together; just enough to beat Maximilian. It is quite close between the four championship contenders. It should be interesting for the race. Overall it was a really good session.”

source: FIA F3, fiaf3europe.com

 

Prema Powerteam R09 Red Bull Ring – Qualifying 1 Report

The penultimate round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship brought the Prema team back where they belonged with a sensational front row lockout secured in qualifying 1. The Italian squad put up a strong showing in the first qualifying session held at Red Bull Ring in Austria. The team is now eager to keep the momentum and fight as hard as possible for both the team and driver championship titles.

The opening qualifying session featured a spectacular battle between Callum Ilott and Maximilian Günther, who traded fastest laps and battled for the pole for the whole time. In the end, the British racer nipped his team-mate at a last gasp while the German, who is keeping his championship hopes more than alive, settled for the second position.

Ferrari Driver Academy prospect Guan Yu Zhou faced some struggles in finding the right confidence with his car and was forced to content with a 13th place, while Mick Schumacher finished in 15th place as the third fastest rookie.

#3 – Maximilian Günther
“Generally it was a good Q1 for us. We managed the traffic well and I had a clean session. The car felt good to drive, we can improve some tiny things, but for sure it was nice to bounce back now as a team. I was very satisfied with my lap and I’m looking forward to pushing hard tomorrow!”

#8 – Guan Yu Zhou 
“I’m not so happy with my qualifying result as we struggled a lot in terms of confidence with the car. For tomorrow I hope to move forward in the race and focus on qualifying 2 which will give me more opportunities to improve my championship position too.”

#25 – Mick Schumacher
“After a good run in practice we faced a more challenging qualifying session. We will work hard to see where we can improve and hopefully put up a good performance in race 1 and qualifying 2.”

#53 – Callum Ilott
“Overall it was a really good session. At the beginning I was quite close to Maxi and we were trading laptimes. I probably wasn’t able to put the lap together which I managed to do in the end and I think he did the same. We eventually finished just a hundredth of a second apart and scored exactly the same sector times more than once. It was very close and it’s nice to have come out on top.”

source: premapowerteam.com

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