Russell Breaks Albon Run to Take Pole Position at Paul Ricard

George Russell - ART Grand Prix
Credit: Joe Portlock / FIA Formula 2

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 DAMSAlexander 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

18George RussellGBRART Grand Prix1:44.469
25Alexander AlbonTHADAMS1:44.635
319Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:44.781
418Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin1:45.092
514Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing1:45.109
67Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix1:45.143
71Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:45.250
84Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:45.269
920Louis DeletrazSWICharouz Racing System1:45.278
106Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:45.482
1111Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden1:45.608
123Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:45.721
1317Santino FerrucciUSATrident1:45.739
149Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport1:45.753
1521Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System1:45.919
162Tadasuke MakinoJAPRussian Time1:45.945
1716Arjun MainiINDTrident1:46.021
1812Nirei FukuzumiJAPBWT Arden1:46.060
1915Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing1:46.150
2010Ralph BoschungSWIMP Motorsport1:46.500