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Bortolotti Claims Pole By Huge Margin At Wet Spa, Then Loses It

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Mirko Bortolotti claimed pole position for the first Formula 2 race at Spa by a margin of 1.398 seconds in wet conditions, only to then have it taken away from him for ignoring yellow flags. Ramon Pineiro has inherited pole position as a result.

Bortolotti took provisional pole with five minutes remaining in the session, before improving it further before the checkered flag to almost double his margin over second placed Pineiro.

“It was very tricky and wet out there and very difficult to see through the spray,” said Bortolotti after taking pole. “The track did get dryer though as the session went on.

“We had a good set up and I’m pleased to be on pole and I'm looking forward to the race, which is going to be a long one if the conditions remain the same.”

Pineiro said: “It was really tough conditions and the spray would hang in the air for a long time. I got about two laps of clear traffic to put in some quick times and I’m very pleased with my lap times and I’m looking forward to the race.”

Bortolotti was subsequently demoted two positions on the grid, putting him behind Pineiro and Alex Brundle, who originally qualified third.

Championship leader Christopher Zanella was fourth, while Will Bratt will share the third row of the grid with rookie Thiemo Storz.

Tobias Hegewald was seventh, with Miki Monras, Kelvin Snoeks and Benjamin Lariche rounding out the top ten.

17-year-old debutant Jordan King qualified in a respectable 16th place in the tricky conditions.

1. Mirko Bortolotti, 2m33.344s*
2. Ramon Pineiro, +1.398s
3. Alex Brundle, +1.441s
4. Christopher Zanella, +1.707s
5. Will Bratt, +1.781s
6. Thiemo Storz, +2.397s
7. Tobias Hegewald, +2.734s
8. Miki Monras, +2.876s
9. Kelvin Snoeks, +2.979s
10. Benjamin Lariche, +3.122s

*Subsequently dropped two places on the grid for ignoring yellow flags

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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