George Russell took his maiden FIA Formula 2 Championship pole position after a phenomenal performance during Qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday afternoon under clear blue skies and in very high temperatures.
Russell was quickest after the opening runs in France but went even faster as the session drew to a close, with the ART Grand Prix driver’s lap of 1:44.469s 0.166 seconds clear of DAMS’ Alexander Albon.
Albon had come into the race on the back of three consecutive pole positions, but the Thai driver will start on the outside of the front row, while Carlin locked out row two, with championship leader Lando Norris getting the better of team-mate Sergio Sette Câmara, who will be glad just to be driving after missing the races in Monaco through injury.
Luca Ghiotto will start fifth for the Campos Vexatec Racing, with the Italian 0.640 seconds off Russell’s best, while Jack Aitken will start sixth in the second ART Grand Prix machine, although the Anglo-Korean driver will be disappointed to be almost seven-tenths slower than his team-mate.
Artem Markelov, like Aitken affiliated with the Renault Sport Formula One Team, will start seventh for Russian Time, while Nyck de Vries will start eighth for Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing. The Dutchman however will be left frustrated after an engine issue with his car on his final run left him unable to improve and crawling around the track in safe mode.
Louis Delétraz will still ninth in the leading of the Charouz Racing System cars, while Nicholas Latifi completes the top ten for DAMS, albeit 1.013 seconds off the pole setting time.
Aside from de Vries’ issue, there were also problems for Santino Ferrucci, who complained of a possible sticking throttle during the session, while Ralph Boschung was restricted to just one run as a technical problem on his MP Motorsport machine kept him in the pit lane as others improved. The Swiss driver ended up at the very back of the field as a result, more than two seconds off the pace.
Circuit Paul Ricard Qualifying Result
|1||8||George Russell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:44.469|
|4||18||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Carlin||1:45.092|
|5||14||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:45.109|
|6||7||Jack Aitken||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:45.143|
|7||1||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||1:45.250|
|8||4||Nyck de Vries||NED||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:45.269|
|9||20||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Charouz Racing System||1:45.278|
|11||11||Maximilian Gunther||GER||BWT Arden||1:45.608|
|12||3||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:45.721|
|14||9||Roberto Merhi||ESP||MP Motorsport||1:45.753|
|15||21||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Charouz Racing System||1:45.919|
|16||2||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Russian Time||1:45.945|
|18||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||JAP||BWT Arden||1:46.060|
|19||15||Roy Nissany||ISR||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:46.150|
|20||10||Ralph Boschung||SWI||MP Motorsport||1:46.500|