F3: Hadjar takes maiden pole in Austria
Red Bull Junior driver Isack Hadjar secured his first FIA Formula 3 pole position, shading his closest rivals by two-tenths around the Red Bull Ring. Current championship leader Victor Martins will start alongside his compatriot on the front row in the Feature Race, with PREMA Racing team mates Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc filling the second row.
The first round of laps took a while to filter through as drivers protected their soft Pirelli tyres in the Austrian heat, but it was Martins that headed up the field, narrowly ahead of Bearman by just 0.078s.
The value of a tow was abundantly clear as almost the entire F3 grid was packed into the straight between Turns 3 and 4, searching for track position and a slipstream. Up ahead though, the Hitech of Hadjar had timed his run perfectly.
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He bettered Martins’s time as the session reached the final few minutes to take provisional pole by just 0.014s. Having gone early, Hadjar was able to fit in a second flying lap in the final minutes to move himself two-tenths clear of anybody.
Those behind him wouldn’t get a chance to respond to the pole-sitter following a late red flag for the stranded Charouz Racing System car of Zdenek Chovanec, who’d come to a halt on the exit of Turn 1. With under two minutes remaining, the red flag prevented the session from being restarted.
Behind Bearman and Leclerc on row two, Frederik pipped Roman Stanek for P5. They were followed by Jonny Edgar, Zane Maloney, Franco Colapinto and Jak Crawford to fill out the remaining spots in the top 10.
Caio Collet will start Saturday’s Sprint Race from reverse grid pole after ending the qualifying session P12.
For the full report, results and more news, visit the official F3 website.