DAMS‘ Sérgio Sette Câmara claims pole position for the FIA Formula 2 Feature race at Circuit Paul Ricard in an dramatic qualifying session, which saw two red flags and the pole sitter spinning at the end of the session.
The Brazilian placed a 1:43.024 to go fastest overall in the session, continuing his pace after setting the fastest time in practice. Sette Câmara during his final lap of qualifying spun at Turn 12, ending his session as a result. But the McLaren F1 junior driver did enough as the rest of the field failed to meet his time.
UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Guanyu Zhou and Campos Racing‘s Jack Aitken improved the most after the second red flag in the final minutes of the session to go second and third for the race on Saturday. Title contender Nyck de Vries produced the fourth best time ahead of Callum Ilott for Sauber Junior Team. F2 championship leader Nicholas Latifi will start the race from sixth place.
Qualifying started with a red flag after Giuliano Alesi crashed into the back of Louis Delétraz during their outlap in the opening minutes, causing damage to the Carlin‘s rear wing.
Alesi’s session ended on the spot whilst Delétraz managed to bring back his Carlin to the pits. Whilst the red flag was waved, ART Grand Prix‘s Nikita Mazepin had smoke pouring out of his car whilst entering the pits. The mechanics went to work in attempt to fix the issue whilst the marshals cleared away the stranded Trident car of Alesi, but the ART team couldn’t fix the problem and put the Russian out of the session.
With the debris clear, the session restarted with de Vries leading the away out to the Paul Ricard circuit. After the first laps in qualifying, Ilott pipped de Vries ahead of Latifi and Aitken, before Sette Câmara jumped to the top of the standings with 1:43.591.
Aitken managed to place a second lap in and jumped to the top of the standings with sixteen minutes remaining ahead of both DAMS cars, but his time at the top was shortly lived as Sette Câmara returned to the top with a 1:43.024.
Carlin managed to repair the rear wing and Delétraz returned to the track to compete in qualifying. The Swiss driver in his first lap put him in fourteenth place, 1.5 seconds short of Sette Câmara’s time.
With eight minute of the sessions left, the field returned to the track for one last shot in improving their qualifying position. de Vries in his first attempt improved his time, but could only improve to second best in the order. Ralph Boschung stopped on track as his engine cut off during a lap, bringing out the second red flag of the session with 2 minutes and 59 seconds remaining.
After the marshals cleared away the Trident, the session restarted and the race to set a lap time began with a queue of cars heading out of track. Anthoine Hubert didn’t get a chance to set one final lap after grinding to a halt at Turn 1.
The session resumed despite the stranded Arden and with the drivers setting one final lap, Zhou and Aitken made the biggest gains in their last runs, jumping to second and third overall, but couldn’t beat Sette Câmara’s time.
The Brazilian in his final lap spun at Turn 12 and stalled his car at the end of the session. Despite the mistake, Sette Câmara claimed pole position in a chaotic session, ending with the pole sitter spinning and stalling his car in the final moments and ending the session behind the barriers.
|1||5||DAMS||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||1:43.024|
|2||7||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Guanyu Zhou||CHI||+0.320|
|3||15||Campos Racing||Jack Aitken||GBR||+0.377|
|4||4||ART Grand Prix||Nyck de Vries||NED||+0.429|
|5||11||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Callum Ilott||GBR||+0.541|
|7||2||Carlin Motorsport||Nobuharu Matsushita||JPN||+0.739|
|8||9||Prema Racing||Mick Schumacher||GER||+0.744|
|9||14||Campos Racing||Dorian Boccolacci||FRA||+0.788|
|10||10||Prema Racing||Sean Gelael||INO||+0.871|
|11||8||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||+0.959|
|12||1||Carlin Motorsport||Louis Deletraz||CHE||+1.001|
|13||12||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||+1.096|
|15||19||BWT Arden||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||+1.588|
|16||16||MP Motorsport||Jordan King||GBR||+1.858|
|17||18||BWT Arden||Tatiana Calderon||COL||+3.982|
|18||17||MP Motorsport||Mahaveer Raghunathan||NED||+5.350|
|19||20||Trident||Giuliano Alesi||FRA||No Time|
|20||3||ART Grand Prix||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||No Time|