Charles Leclerc took his seventh pole position in eight rounds as he secured top spot in a wet qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.
The Monegasque driver, who only lost his 100% pole record last time out at the Hungaroring because of a technical infraction out of his control, emerged from a tricky session in the Ardennes at the top of the timing screens, with the Prema Racing driver’s best lap of 2:20.842s almost seven-tenths of a second clear of his rivals.
Joining Leclerc on the front row will be DAMS’ Nicholas Latifi, who denied his team-mate Oliver Rowland by less than a tenth-of-a-second, while Gustav Malja, who had a breakthrough weekend at this circuit in 2016, secured fourth on the grid for Racing Engineering.
Antonio Fuoco was fifth fastest for Prema Racing ahead of Nyck de Vries in the second of the Racing Engineering machines, with the Dutchman having made a pre-race switch from the Rapax team, while Luca Ghiotto was the leading of the Russian Time drivers in seventh.
Roberto Merhi was eighth for Rapax on his return to the series, while Artem Markelov of Russian Time and Alexander Albon of ART Grand Prix rounded out the top ten.
The session was red flagged with a little over three minutes remaining when Sergio Sette Câmara spun at Pouhon and ended up facing the wrong way, with the MP Motorsport driver ultimately ending up eleventh fastest ahead of Trident’s Santino Ferrucci and Rapax’s Louis Delétraz.
On the restart, conditions had deteriorated, meaning improving on lap times was almost impossible, and it left a number of drivers seemingly out of position, with Nobuharu Matsushita fifteenth, Jordan King sixteenth and Norman Nato down in eighteenth.
Spa-Francorchamps Qualifying Result
|1||1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Prema Racing||2:20.842|
|4||4||Gustav Malja||SWE||Racing Engineering||2:22.069|
|5||2||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Racing||2:22.073|
|6||3||Nyck de Vries||NED||Racing Engineering||2:22.534|
|7||5||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Russian Time||2:22.952|
|9||6||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||2:23.180|
|10||8||Alexander Albon||THA||ART Grand Prix||2:23.409|
|11||14||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||MP Motorsport||2:23.424|
|14||11||Ralph Boschung||SWI||Campos Racing||2:23.737|
|15||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||2:23.788|
|16||15||Jordan King||GBR||MP Motorsport||2:24.127|
|17||12||Robert Visoiu||ROM||Campos Racing||2:24.215|
|18||20||Norman Nato||FRA||Pertamina Arden||2:24.437|
|19||21||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Arden||2:25.039|