Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing‘s Nyck de Vries captures pole position for the FIA Formula 2 feature race at the Sochi Autodrom whilst Lando Norris beats championship rival George Russell to start second place.
The Dutch driver was able to set a 1m46.476 in his Prema to beat the two championship contenders. Norris was able to beat Russell on his final lap in qualifying to start ahead of his rival as he seeks to reduce the gap in the race for the title.
Russell had pole position in the first run in qualifying but couldn’t improve on his time in the final part of qualifying. The Brit will start Saturday’s feature race in third ahead of both DAMS drivers’ of Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon.
Campos Vexatac Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto set a late lap to push himself up to sixth place, piping Russian Time‘s Tadasuke Makino in seventh. Sérgio Sette Câmara will start in eighth place ahead of ART Grand Prix driver Jack Aitken and Maximilian Günther, who rounds off the top ten.
Russian driver Artem Markelov struggled during qualifying, producing a time over two seconds slower than de Vries’ pole time. He will start from nineteenth on the grid ahead of Arjun Maini, who caused a red flag for a spin. Niko Kari will make his F2 race debut starting in sixteenth place with MP Motorsport.
The ART and Carlin Motorsport cars were the first cars to head out on track first and after completing their warm up laps, Russell set the best time with a 1m47.031s ahead of de Vries and Norris.
Trident‘s Maini spun at the exit of Turn 14 and failed to get going again, causing a red flag as the marshals pushed away the stranded car.
The session got underway with a queue of cars waiting to get back out on track and set their first laps. Albon jumped up to fourth place, splitting the two Carlin cars as de Vries failed to improve his time to make the jump up to pole position. Russell improved on his lap time into a 1m46.865s and remained on provisional pole position.
Markelov attempted to set a clean lap whilst the track was clear, but the Russian struggled to set the pace and could only manage to set a time to place him in sixteenth.
With a seven minutes of the session remaining, the field head out on track in a last attempt to improve their position for the feature race. Norris left to join the track with five minutes left after the team made adjustments to his car in a bid to grab pole position.
de Vries made the jump to the top of the time sheets and snatched pole position away from Russell. The DAMS cars of Latifi and Albon improve to third and fourth respectfully. Russell couldn’t improve on his time and failed to provide any challenge against de Vries for pole. Norris was able to improve his time and jump ahead of his championship rival to start second place.
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