Joel enjoyed a confidence-lifting start to the FIA F3 European Championship weekend at Red Bull Ring by going third fastest in Friday free practice, just a couple of tenths off the outright pace.
Joel ended practice – split, as always, into two 40-minute sessions punctuated by a short five-minute break – just 0.232s adrift of chart-topper Callum Ilott, and a mere 0.01s behind second-placed championship leader Lando Norris.
It marks a promising beginning to the Austrian event for Joel, as he bids to move on from the recent struggles that have plagued him in the last few rounds.
With a full 17 cars covered by less than eight tenths in practice, the stage is set for a thrilling weekend in the Styrian Alps, where first qualifying is due to take place this evening.
Next session: Qualifying 1, 17.35 local time (GMT+02:00).
“I’m having a slightly better feeling than in recent races, so it’s a pretty positive start. It was looking really good in the first session – I was fastest of those who ran old tyres – but once we put on a set of new we were struggling a bit with the balance.
“The car is pretty inconsistent and that makes it hard to nail an entire lap, but we’re still there in terms of lap time which is a promising sign. I’m feeling more optimistic going into qualifying here than I have done for a while.”
RESULTS – Free Practice