Luca Ghiotto will start Saturday’s GP3 feature race at the Red Bull Ring from pole position after coming out on top against Esteban Ocon in qualifying.
Times tumbled throughout a session that began in cool conditions, with Ghiotto dominating the opening half, holding an advantage of 0.350s over nearest rival Emil Bernstorff with a time of 1m20.039s.
That was beaten first of all by Marvin Kirchhofer as the drivers made a final push in the latter stages of the session, the German breaking the 1m20s barrier with a 1m19.803s, before ART teammate Ocon lowered the bar with a 1m19.748s.
Alex Palou then went quickest on a 1.19.624s, only to spin at the end of his next flying lap at the final corner, coming perilously close to the barriers in his Campos-run machine, bringing out the yellow flags in the process.
By that time, Ocon had returned to the top spot with a 1m19.555s, before Ghiotto wrested pole position from the reigning European Formula 3 champion with a 1m19.350s.
Palou will start third despite his late scare ahead of Kirchhofer, with Bernstorff and Matt Parry making it an all-British third row.
Completing the top 10 on the grid are Standy Stuvik, Ferrari Academy member Antonio Fuoco, Jimmy Eriksson and Mitchell Gilbert, with practice pacesetter and Nissan factory driver Jann Mardenborough unable to qualify higher than 12th.
|2||Esteban Ocon||ART Grand Prix||1'19.555||0.205|
|3||Alex Palou||Campos Racing||1'19.624||0.274|
|4||Marvin Kirchhofer||ART Grand Prix||1'19.803||0.453|
|5||Emil Bernstorff||Arden International||1'19.823||0.473|
|6||Matt Parry||Koiranen GP||1'19.877||0.527|
|7||Sandy Stuvik||Status Grand Prix||1'19.970||0.620|
|9||Jimmy Eriksson||Koiranen GP||1'20.127||0.777|
|11||Ralph Boschung||Jenzer Motorsport||1'20.144||0.794|
|13||Matheo Tuscher||Jenzer Motorsport||1'20.296||0.946|
|14||Alfonso Celis||ART Grand Prix||1'20.333||0.983|
|15||Alex Fontana||Status Grand Prix||1'20.346||0.996|
|18||Kevin Ceccon||Arden International||1'20.404||1.054|
|19||Pal Varhaug||Jenzer Motorsport||1'20.431||1.081|
|20||Adderly Fong||Koiranen GP||1'20.776||1.426|
|21||Seb Morris||Status Grand Prix||1'20.787||1.437|
|22||Zaid Ashkanani||Campos Racing||1'20.927||1.577|
|23||Alex Bosak||Arden International||1'21.172||1.822|
|24||Samin Gomez||Campos Racing||1'21.770||2.420|