F2 Leader de Vries Claims Austria Pole Ahead of Renault Juniors Hubert And Zhou

by Aaron Gillard
de Vries - F2 -ART - Austria

FIA Formula 2 Championship leader Nyck de Vries claims pole position for the Feature race in Austria ahead of Renault Academy driversAnthoine Hubert and Guanyu Zhou.

The former McLaren junior driver set a 1:14.143 in his final run of qualifying, a time that wouldn’t be matched by anyone during their last laps. The Dutch driver led majority of the session to claim his second pole position of the season.

Hubert in the Arden placed his impressive lap midway through the session, jumping up to second and retained the position throughout, earning his first front row in F2. UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Zhou managed to put in a time to get third place, starting behind the two drivers who claimed victory at the last round in France.

The Qualifying session got underway with Sérgio Sette Câmara heading out of the pits first, leading out a train cars onto the 2.7 mile Austrian circuit. Mick Schumcaher set the first initial lap time of the session, but quickly de Vries jumped to the top of the standings with a 1:14.223 ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Nicholas Latifi in their first hot laps of the session.

The drivers attempted a second run following their first hot lap, but couldn’t find any more time to improve their position. Callum Ilott in the Sauber Junior Team ran wide at the final corner, bouncing off the road after clipping the exit kerb but was able to resume running.

Majority of the field returned to the pits to prepare their final qualifying run, with de Vries remaining on top ahead of Ghiotto, Latifi, Hubert and Nobuharu Matsushita. Trident‘s Ryan Tveter and both Arden’s of Hubert and Tatiana Calderón headed out on an empty track with 15 minutes remaining, gambling on running with a quiet track. Tveter in his first lap jumped up to 17th place ahead of team-mate Giulaino Alesi.

Hubert improved to go second fastest overall with ten minutes to go, falling short by 0.076 seconds to provisional pole sitter de Vries. With eight minutes remaining, the rest of the field headed out on track altogether for one last run and shot for pole position. Hubert returned to the pits, waiting to see what the rest of the field can do.

Pole sitter de Vries improved his time into a 1:14.143 to retain pole whilst majority of the field improved their times, but couldn’t beat the likes of de Vries and Hubert. Zhou jumped to third place, with Matsushita grabbing fourth ahead of Ghiotto, Latifi and Schumacher. Carlin‘s Louis Delétraz , who was fastest in Practice, couldn’t replicate his pace in Qualifying and will start from eighth place, ahead of Sette Câmara and Ilott who rounds off the top ten.

The three new drivers entering F2 this weekend will start the Feature race towards the back of the field, with 2018 IndyLights champion and MP Motorsport stand-in driver Patricio O’Ward winning the battle of the new drivers in Austria. The Mexican driver ended the session in seventeenth ahead of Campos Racing‘s Arjun Maini and Trident’s Tveter.

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
14ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED1:14.143
219BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA+0.166
37UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI+0.228
42Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN+0.256
58UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA+0.286
66DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN+0.340
79Prema RacingMick SchumacherGER+0.345
81Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHE+0.482
95DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ+0.566
1011Sauber Junior Team by CharouzCallum IlottGBR+0.612
1110Prema RacingSean GelaelINO+0.665
123ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS+0.739
1312Sauber Junior Team by CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA+0.744
1415Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR+0.843
1516MP MotorsportJordan KingGBR+0.996
1620TridentGiuliano AlesiFRA+1.069
1717MP MotorsportPatricio O'WardUSA+1.184
1814Campos RacingArjun MainiIND+1.220
1921TridentRyan TveterUSA+1.292
2018BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL+2.021

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