Red Bull Ring F3: Vesti grabs pole after Sargeant issues

Prema driver Frederik Vesti secured pole for the opening race of the second round of the new FIA Formula 3 season in Austria, after teammate Logan Sargeant was hit by technical issues.

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 was still fastest when the chequered flag fell, but Vesti and Trident driver David Beckmann were on quicker laps, and Vesti finally claimed pole by 0.123 seconds.

That was redemption for reigning Formula Regional European champion Vesti, who 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.

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 three Trident 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, Red Bull junior Liam Lawson (MP Motorsport).

Session results:

12 Frederik Vesti Prema Powerteam 1’20.378  
211 David Beckmann Trident 1’20.501 0.123
33 Logan Sargeant Prema Powerteam 1’20.570 0.192
41 Oscar Piastri Prema Powerteam 1’20.590 0.212
57 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1’20.654 0.276
610 Lirim Zendeli Trident 1’20.709 0.331
729 Alexander Peroni Campos Racing 1’20.734 0.356
812 Olli Caldwell Trident 1’20.767 0.389
99 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 1’20.816 0.438
105 Liam Lawson HitechGP 1’20.853 0.475
1117 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1’20.871 0.493
128 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 1’20.935 0.557
134 Max Fewtrell HitechGP 1’20.960 0.582
1422 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 1’21.026 0.648
1519 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 1’21.115 0.737
1615 Jake Hughes HWA AG 1’21.122 0.744
1718 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 1’21.156 0.778
1823 Roman Staněk Charouz Racing System 1’21.169 0.791
196 Dennis Hauger HitechGP 1’21.224 0.846
2031 Sophia Flörsch Campos Racing 1’21.228 0.850
2114 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA AG 1’21.269 0.891
2225 David Schumacher Charouz Racing System 1’21.292 0.914
2316 Jack Doohan HWA AG 1’21.344 0.966
2424 Igor Fraga Charouz Racing System 1’21.415 1.037
2526 Clement Novalak Carlin 1’21.436 1.058
2620 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 1’21.527 1.149
2727 Enaam Ahmed Carlin 1’21.544 1.166
2828 Cameron Das Carlin 1’21.547 1.169
2921 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 1’21.606 1.228
3030 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 1’22.226 1.848

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