DAMS driver fastest in qualifying for second successive round
Alexander Albon held on from a flurry of last-minute flying laps to secure pole position in the FIA Formula 2 Championship Qualifying session, his 1:28.142 good enough to withstand an onslaught from PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing’s Nyck de Vries and Campos Vexatec Racing’s Luca Ghiotto.
Trident’s Arjun Maini got the session underway at the green flag under warm and breezy conditions, leading out Sean Gelael (PREMA) and ART Grand Prix’s Jack Aitken, before Gelael snatched track position for the first push lap of the session. Aitken briefly went quickest, before de Vries and Maini found even more time before having to quickly concede control of the timesheets as the pace continued to drop.
Nicholas Latifi of DAMS was first to beat the morning’s practice pace set by Albon, who then ended the first phase of hot laps on top after setting a pair of purple opening sectors. Running then hit a brief hiatus at the midpoint of the session after Trident’s Santino Ferrucci hit the wall at turn 11, bringing out a red flag.
DAMS got the session back underway at the restart with both drivers, taking advantage of the empty track. Latifi got within a tenth of Albon’s best time, before the Thai driver beat his own personal best by 0.3s to go further clear at the top of the timings. The circuit then met a flurry of activity, with plenty of drivers threatening to go even quicker.
Aitken split the DAMS pair, before George Russell took second from his teammate shortly after. De Vries then bumped the ART pair down to the second row, but was ultimately unsuccessful in his overtures for pole, allowing Albon hang on and secure consecutive pole positions in F2.
Ghiotto grabbed third at the last moment and will start alongside Russell, as Aitken and Latifi will occupy the third row of the grid. Tadasuke Makino (RUSSIAN TIME) took seventh ahead of Carlin’s Lando Norris, as MP locked out row five with Ralph Boschung and Roberto Merhi.
With plenty of championship contenders all at the sharp end, tomorrow’s Feature Race should be hotly contested – with all having to blend strategy and speed to secure an all-important victory.
2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Round 1 Qualifying – Barcelona, Spain
Driver
Team
Time
Laps
1
Alexander Albon
DAMS
1:28.142
11
2
Nyck De Vries
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:28.369
11
3
Luca Ghiotto
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:28.400
11
4
George Russell
ART Grand Prix
1:28.524
11
5
Jack Aitken
ART Grand Prix
1:28.579
11
6
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:28.605
11
7
Tadasuke Makino
RUSSIAN TIME
1:28.620
11
8
Lando Norris
Carlin
1:28.923
10
9
Ralph Boschung
MP Motorsport
1:28.970
11
10
Roberto Merhi
MP Motorsport
1:29.081
11
11
Antonio Fuoco
Charouz Racing System
1:29.130
12
12
Louis Delétraz
Charouz Racing System
1:29.136
11
13
Maximilian Gunther
BWT Arden
1:29.143
12
14
Sergio Sette Camara
Carlin
1:29.256
5
15
Roy Nissany
Campos Vexatec Racing
1:29.284
11
16
Sean Gelael
PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing
1:29.307
11
17
Nirei Fukuzumi
BWT Arden
1:29.376
12
18
Arjun Maini
Trident
1:29.407
11
19
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:29.585
11
20
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
1:30.440
6