Alexander Albon Secures First-Ever Formula 2 Pole For Baku Feature Race

by Aaron Gillard

Alexander Albon secured his first-ever FIA Formula 2 pole position around the Baku City Circuit ahead of Championship leader Lando Norris and ART Grand Prix‘s George Russell.

The Thai-British driver was among one of many drivers in contention for pole position with the likes of Norris, Russell and Luca Ghiotto. But a late red flag caused by Nicholas Latifi, halted any last minute attempt for drivers to produce a lap time.

Trident‘s Santino Ferrucci placed himself in fifth place, sharing the third row with Carlin Motorsport‘s Sergio Sette Camara. Jack Aitken ended the session seventh fastest, followed by Arjun Maini.

Nyck de Vries finished ninth ahead of Ralph Boschung who rounds off the top ten.

Qualifying started with all twenty cars hitting the track, but problems for Maximilian Gunther saw him stop on track after Turn 1. The stranded BWT Arden caused a red flag to the session.

As the lights turned green, Arjun Maini led the train of cars around the Baku City Circuit as they attempt to set a representative time. Artem Markelov pushed hard during his lap, carrying too much speed at the Turn 5 chicane, narrowly missing the barrier as he cut the chicane. He struggled throughout the session and could only manage eighteenth place.

With the first laps completed, the Carlin pair of Lando Norris and Sergio Sette Camara lead the way ahead of Nyck de Vries. Norris’ time was quickly beaten by the Dams of Alexander Albon. Luca Ghiotto quickly dispatched Albon’s time and placed his Campos Vexatec Racing on top of the time sheets.

George Russell set fourth fastest time, within a second of leader Ghiotto. His team-mate Jack Aitken was in fifth. Arjun Maini made a mistake at Turn 15 and used the run-off; he was able to get back out on track and complete a lap, which placed him in seventh place.

The Campos of Roy Nissany followed Maini’s mistake at Turn 15 but failed to get going, which resulted in a yellow flag and ruining the lap of Maximilian Gunther. The German continued on track for another attempt to improve his grid position, managing to get as high as fifth place, but soon after made a mistake a Turn 1.

With minutes away from the chequered flag, drivers began to come out in a final bid to improve their grid positions. George Russell went fastest, but soon quickly was taken down by Lando Norris.

Alexander Albon followed that up with an even quicker time of 1:54.480, while Trident’s Santino Ferrucci made a big improvement to jump up to fifth place.

Nicholas Latifi spun at the exit of Turn 7 which ended any chance of improvements, causing a red flag with 59 seconds to go.

With no time left and the session not restarted, it was Alexander Albon who will start the race on pole position for the Feature race tomorrow ahead of Lando Norris and George Russell.

POSNODRIVERNATTEAMTIME
15Alexander AlbonTHADams1:54.480
219Lando NorrisGBRCarlin Motorsport1:54.694
38George RussellGBRART Grand Prix1:54.842
414Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing1:54.980
517Santino FerrucciUSATrident1:55.200
618Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin Motorsport1:55.212
77Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix1:55.236
816Arjun MainiINDTrident1:55.474
94Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:55.728
1010Ralph BoschungSUIMP Motorsport1:55.761
1111Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden1:55.950
122Tadasuke MakinoJPNRussian Time1:56.139
139Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport1:56.532
1421Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System1:57.090
1520Louis DeletrazSUICharouz Racing System1:57.105
1612Nirei FukuzumiJPNBWT Arden1:57.351
173Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:57.508
181Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:57.604
1915Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing2:01.902
206Nicholas LatifiCANDams2:01.970

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