Nyck de Vries Claims Pole In F2 Monaco Split Qualifying; Callum Ilott Captures Front Row Start

by Aaron Gillard
de Vries - ART - Monaco

ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries captures pole position for the Feature race in Monaco, setting the fastest time overall and in Group B, beating Group A’s fastest driver Callum Ilott.

The Dutch driver who captured the win around Barcelona in the Sprint race, placed a 1:20.676, beating Ilott’s 1:21.462 who he set first within his group. UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto placed the second best time in Group B and will start third overall on the grid, sharing the second row with Prema Racing‘s Mick Schumacher.

For Monaco being such a short circuit, the F2 qualifying is decided by two groups: separated by odd and even numbered cars. The fastest driver overall will claim pole, with the fastest driver from the other group starting second place. Third place is given to the second best driver in the pole sitter’s group, with fourth going to second best to the other group. The method repeats until we get a full grid.

Group A; consist of odd numbered drivers headed out on track first. Schumacher set the first initial lap time with a 1:26.289. Ilott, Sérgio Sette Câmara, Louis Delétraz and majority of the field opted to dive into the pits before completing their first flying lap.

As the session reached the halfway point, those who returned to the pits headed back on a quiet track and began their proper qualifying times.

Zhou set the first time with a 1:23.947, but was quickly beaten by Delétraz’s Carlin who set a 1:22.426. Ralph Boschung and Jack Aitken followed up behind in second and third before the Arden of Anthoine Hubert jumped to the top with a 1:22.313.

With three minutes remaining, the Group A drivers managed to find more time. Sette Câmara broke into the 1:21s and go fastest overall. The Brazilian placed a 1:21.597, over half a second quicker than Hubert’s time. But Ilott suddenly jumped to the top of the timing screens with a 1:21.462 and goes fastest. Jack Aitken was improving in the both sector one and two, but got caught in traffic and was held up MP Motorsport‘s Mahaveer Raghunathan. The Anglo-Korean driver could only go ninth best.

Schumacher improved his time to go second fastest in his group, but nobody could match Ilott’s time of a 1:21.462 in Group A and guaranteed a front row start for the Feature race on Friday.

Group B headed out onto the track next, consisted of even numbered drivers. Nobuharu Matsushita set the first initial time of the group with a 1:22.853.

The top three from practice: Latifi, de Vries and Ghiotto decided to follow the similar strategy to those in Group A and dive into the pits during the first hotlap. They later returned to the track a couple of minutes later to start another run. de Vries in his first attempt went fastest overall, beating Ilott’s time with a 1:21.159 to go top ahead of Latifi and Matsushita.

Dorian Boccolacci was improving on his second run, but crashed into the barrier at the exit of the Swimming Pool. The Campos driver was able to return to the pits, but his qualifying session ended as a result.

de Vries improved his time and broke into the 1:20 with a 1:20.676. Latifi improves his time to retain second, after losing the position to Ghiotto who jumped to second place briefly. The Italian in the Virtuosi set the best second sector of the session and was close to clinching pole away from de Vries, but fell short and could only settle for second best in his group.

But de Vries did enough to go fastest in his group and claim pole position for the Feature race. Ilott in the Sauber will start alongside him on the front row. Ghiotto will share the second row with Schumacher, followed by the DAMS cars of Latifi and Sette Câmara.

Group A Qualifying Times

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
111Sauber Junior Team by CharouzCallum IlottGBR1:21.462
29PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER1:21.469
35DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ1:21.537
419BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA1:21.675
51Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHE1:21.936
63ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS1:22.089
721TridentRalph BoschungCHE1:22.233
87UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHA1:22.772
915Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR1:22.877
1017MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED1:26.522

Group B Qualifying Time

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
14ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED1:20.676
28UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA1:20.924
36DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN1:21.130
410PREMA RacingSean GelaelINO1:21.598
52Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN1:21.807
616MP MotorsportArtem MarkelovRUS1:22.086
714Campos RacingDorian BoccolacciFRA1:22.290
812Sauber Junior Team by CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA1:22.437
920TridentGiuliano AlesiITA1:22.785
1018BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL1:24.791

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