Guanyu Zhou produced a stunning lap to take pole position for the first Feature race of the 2020 season in Austria.
Impressive rookie Felipe Drugovich will line up alongside the Chinese driver for MP Motorsport, with Zhou’s UNI-Virtuosi teammate Callum Ilott in third.
The opening minutes of the session saw ART Grand Prix’s Marcus Armstrong set the early pace. Further down the order fellow Ferrari junior Giuliano Alesi missed the Niki Lauda Kurve and had to use the escape road.
Nobuharu Matsushita’s tough weekend continued after making an error into the Red Bull Mobile corner, losing him time in the third sector as the MP Motorsport man tried to take advantage of the empty circuit.
With 11 minutes left to go in the session all 22 cars took to the track to get ready for their next qualifying attempts, but plenty of drivers saw their laps cut short.
Marino Sato’s miserable weekend worsened by having his second spin of the day on the exit of Schlossgold, beaching his Trident in the gravel trap and causing a red flag.
Luckily for the other 21 drivers, the Trident was quickly removed giving the rest of the field just over five minutes to improve on their lap time, putting pressure on the drivers to get it right on their final attempt.
Christian Lundgaard moved up the timesheets with a strong lap of 1.14.922 which put him provisionally on the front row.
The session was brought to a premature end as Nikita Mazepin spun at the Würth Kurve. His excursion brought out the yellow flag and with it the end of the session – much to the frustration of several drivers who were looking to improve their position.
Lundgaard, Schumacher and Jehan Daruvala rounding out the top six, with Luca Ghiotto, Robert Shwartzman, Dan Ticktum and Louis Delétraz completing the top 10 for tomorrow’s opening race of the season.