Matheo Tuscher

Swiss ahead of Pommer and McKenzie in closely fought session

Mathéo Tuscher secured his third pole of the season during today’s (Saturday) opening Formula Two qualifying session at Paul Ricard.

In cooler temperatures, the 15 year-old Swiss posted a best time of 1:53.023s late in the session to edge out Markus Pommer and Daniel McKenzie during the closely fought session which saw the top 10 covered by a second.

It was Christopher Zanella who was the opening pace-setter as the 30-minute session got underway with the Swiss gambling on using his fresh tyres early on. The 22-year-old then had a nervous time as he sat and waited to see if it could be bettered.

Mihai Marinescu and Pommer both came close but it was Dino Zamparelli, fresh from his maiden podium at Brands Hatch, who just missed out by a mere 0.006s. Tuscher, who had opted to begin on old tyres before switching to fresh rubber, then showed what he could do with both him and Pommer swapping times at the top of the timesheets before the Swiss came out best with just a few minutes left in the session.

Meanwhile, Bacheta and Marinescu were still yet to show their hands with the Brit’s first flying lap good enough for P3 with Zanella now slipping down the order and eventually finishing P5. Marinescu could only manage P8 while Bacheta secured fourth as a late surge by Daniel McKenzie saw him just edge out his fellow countryman.

Zamparelli will start from sixth ahead of Alex Fontana while Kevin Mirocha picked up ninth ahead of Plamen Kralev who put in a strong final lap to complete the top 10.

Speaking afterwards Tuscher said: “We opted to start on old tyres before making the switch onto new ones. We found a good set-up in practice and worked closely with my engineer and manager. I’m looking forward to the race. Hopefully today will be the day I can convert my pole into my first win but we will see, but the main thing is just to keep taking plenty of points.”

Today’s opening race gets underway at 13:50 (local time) with live coverage on Motors TV and the official F2 website.

F2 Results: Paul Ricard – Qualifying 1:

1. Mathéo Tuscher, 1:53.023s
2. Markus Pommer, +0.190s
3. Daniel McKenzie, +0.372s
4. Luciano Bacheta, +0.407s
5. Christopher Zanella, +0.565s
6. Dino Zamparelli, +0.571s
7. Alex Fontana, +0.655s
8. Mihai Marinescu, +0.741s
9. Kevin Mirocha, +0.743s
10. Plamen Kralev, +1.127s
11. Hector Hurst, +1.255s
12. Mauro Calamia, +1.686s
13. Axcil Jefferies, +1.899s
14. David Zhu, +1.954s