Oliver Rowland will start Saturday’s feature race at the Hungaroring from pole position for the first time in his career despite qualifying second to Charles Leclerc who was excluded from qualifying after a regulations breach.
The Monegasque had originally taken his seventh pole of 2017 from seven events after a superb effort which saw him qualify top of the table nearly half a second from Rowland.
As the lights went green, almost all drivers went straight out to set their banker lap, bar Leclerc, Nato, Gelael and Albon. As most of the grid returned to the pits, the remaining drivers set out to beat Rowland’s early benchmark when the session was red flag due to Gelael spinning and stalling at Turn 1.
When the session was resumed, Leclerc smashed the timing screens with a 1:26.268 while the remaining drivers scrambled out to try to respond. Rowland was the closest but his lap was still not enough with a snap of oversteer in Turn 9 costing him dearly.
Leclerc went out again and despite being faster than all of his rivals, he was still unable to beat his own benchmark and ended up aborting his run when pole position was guaranteed. Rowland qualified second ahead of Artem Markelov as the two increasingly look to be the highest-placed battle in the standings.
Jordan King qualified fourth ahead of Antonio Fuoco in fifth as the Italian seemed to be on one of his better days after a massively disappointing showing this season. Behind them, Norman Nato qualified sixth ahead of Nicholas Latifi, Nyck de Vries and Nobuharu Matsushita in 7th, 8th and 9th respectively with Sergio Canamasas rounding up the top ten.
Santino Ferrucci makes his F2 debut with Trident at the Hungaroring and qualified a decent 11th. Ferrucci had previously competed in the GP3 series and currently sits 14th in the standings after taking part in the first 3 rounds with DAMS on his second season in GP3. The American is also reserve driver for Haas and took part in the Silverstone in-season F1 test two weeks ago.
Saturday’s 37-lap Feature Race will begin at 16:00 local time (GMT +2)
- Charles Leclerc was excluded from qualifying after post-session scrutineering discovered that his car used shims in the differential which did not comply with the material requirements laid out in the Dallara User Manual. Leclerc will be allowed to take part in the race but will have to start from the back of the grid. A PREMA Racing representative confirmed that additional shims will comply with the material requirements.
- Sergio Sette Camara was handed a 3 grid place penalty by the race stewards after being judged to have impeded Nicholas Latifi during the session. Camara had originally qualified 16th but will start 18th after taking all penalties into consideration.
Image via FIA Formula 2 Media