Maiden Pole Position for Dominant de Vries at Spa-Francorchamps

by Paul Hensby
Nyck de Vries - Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing - Spa-Francorchamps

Nyck de Vries stormed to his first pole position of his FIA Formula 2 championship career on Friday at Spa-Francorchamps despite having his first timed effort deleted for exceeding track limits.

The Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing driver had earlier topped the sole free practice session of the weekend at Spa and hit the front early with a time of 1:56.450, only for him to have the time wiped off the timing screens for track limits.

However, de Vries saved his best for his second run with a 1:56.054, which was more than four-tenths of a second better than anyone else could muster, with championship leader George Russell the best of the rest for ART Grand Prix thanks to his time of 1:56.457.

Sergio Sette Câmara will line-up third on the grid for Saturday’s Feature race, with the Brazilian just over a tenth of a second behind Russell in his Carlin machine, while Luca Ghiotto made it four different teams inside the top four, the Italian putting his Campos Vextatec Racing into fourth with a time of 1:56.611.

Lando Norris, Russell’s closest challenger in the standings, will start fifth for Carlin, although he was forced to stop on track just after the chequered flag fell at Pouhon, while DAMSAlexander Albon was sixth ahead of Charouz Racing System’s Antonio Fuoco, who was another to stop on track late in the session, this time on the Kemmel Straight.  Obviously, if either of these stoppages are fuel related, Norris and/or Fuoco could find themselves at the back of the field on Saturday.

Eighth in the session was BWT Arden’s Nirei Fukuzumi, his best Qualifying performance of the season so far, with Charouz’s Louis Delétraz and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov completing the top ten.

The championships two most recent additions, Alessio Lorandi and Dorian Boccolacci, were at the back of the field. Lorandi, who joined the grid last time out at the Hungaroring, was nineteenth for Trident, while Boccolacci, who has replaced Roberto Merhi at MP Motorsport from this weekend, was twentieth as he continued to get to grips with the F2 car after stepping up from the GP3 Series.

But no one had an answer for de Vries, who will go into the Feature race looking for his third victory of the season and a big boost in the championship standings, sitting as he does in fifth place with only the races in Belgium, Italy, Russia and Abu Dhabi to go.

Spa-Francorchamps Qualifying Result

14Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:56.054
28George RussellGBRART Grand Prix1:56.457
318Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin1:56.594
414Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing1:56.611
519Lando NorrisGBRCarlin1:56.723
65Alexander AlbonTHADAMS1:56.878
721Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System1:56.930
812Nirei FukuzumiJAPBWT Arden1:57.169
920Louis DeletrazSWICharouz Racing System1:57.183
101Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:57.266
112Tadasuke MakinoJAPRussian Time1:57.394
126Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:57.515
1310Ralph BoschungSWIMP Motorsport1:57.596
1411Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden1:57.635
1516Arjun MainiINDTrident1:57.718
167Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix1:57.754
1715Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing1:57.773
183Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1:57.878
1917Alessio LorandiITATrident1:58.174
209Dorian BoccolacciFRAMP Motorsport1:58.338

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