Bortolotti Clams Pole But Penalty Hands It To Zanella

Mirko Bortolotti was quickest in qualifying for the second Formula 2 race at the Red Bull Ring but was then stripped of pole position, handing the top spot to his nearest title rival Christopher Zanella.

Bortolotti had been 0.355 seconds quicker than Zanella in qualifying, but was found guilty of impeding Miki Monras on one of his laps. He was handed a two-place grid penalty that dropped him to third and promoted Zanella to pole. Saturday's race winner Ramon Pineiro will start second on the grid.

Mihai Marinescu was fourth, ahead of Tobias Hegewald and a career-best sixth for Max Snegirev. Monras ended up seventh, with Kelvin Snoeks, Benjamin Lariche and Alex Brundle completing the top ten.

Zanella had been as low as 19th in the classification before hauling himself up to second place at the very end of the session.

The Swiss driver had failed to score in the first race, allowing Bortolotti to extend his points lead from 36 to 54 points by way of finishing second to Pineiro.

Qualifying times:

1. Mirko Bortolotti, 1:20.536s (+ 2-place penalty)
2. Christopher Zanella, +0.355s
3. Ramon Pineiro, +0.395s
4. Mihai Marinescu, +0.557s
5. Tobias Hegewald, +0.797s
6. Max Snegirev, +0.962s
7. Miki Monras, +1.016s
8. Kelvin Snoeks, +1.168s
9. Benjamin Lariche, +1.176s
10. Alex Brundle, +1.206s