Britain’s Callum Ilott started his title chase in the perfect fashion by claiming the four points for pole position in Bahrain with the man he’s chasing, Mick Schumacher only tenth.
Ilott set the benchmark on his very first attempt and no one could come remotely close to his blistering time and the UNI-Virtuosi driver will have the best view in the house for tomorrow morning’s feature race.
He was largely helped by a red flag after the first laps had been completed as fellow championship hunter Yuki Tsunoda spun his Carlin at the penultimate corner and stalled the car. He couldn’t get going again and starts from last as a result.
Guiliano Alesi caused a second red flag right at the end of the session as his MP Motorsport car expired in sector one which prohibited any further improvements on the final laps of the session.
Alongside Ilott on the front row will be Alesi’s teammate Felipe Drugovich who once again impressed as a front-runner throughout the session, as was Dan Ticktum who will line up third for DAMS.
Marcus Armstrong has had a torrid season but he finally managed to put together a good session to finish fourth ahead of Ilott’s teammate Guanyu Zhou and Alesi.
Nikita Mazepin was fastest in practice but he could only manage seventh for Hitech GP with Jehan Daruvala and Christian Lundgaard starting just ahead of Schumacher.
The sixth title contender Robert Shwartzman could only manage fourteenth as his poor qualifying form continued while Théo Pourchaire was sixteenth fastest in his first F2 qualifying session.
|2||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1:41:870|
|6||Guiliano Alesi||MP Motorsport||1:42:074|
|7||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||1:42:139|
|16||Théo Pourchaire||HWA Racelab||1:42:967|
|20||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||1:43:366|
|21||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||1:44:019|
|22||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||NO TIME|