Charles Leclerc is poised to claim the Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship title after securing his eighth pole position of the season in qualifying at the Circuito de Jerez.

The Mongasque driver extended his lead in the championship standings to 63 points thanks to the four bonus points he picked up by qualifying on pole yet again. He was quickest on each of his three flying laps, with his second and third runs each seeing him lap faster than before.

Should he finish Saturday’s Feature Race with a points advantage of 65 of more, the PREMA Racing driver will give the Italian team back-to-back Drivers’ Championship crowns after Pierre Gasly claimed the title for them in 2016.

Leclerc’s dominance was such that only Russian Time driver Luca Ghiotto was able to get within half a second of his pole time. The Italian, who has not enjoyed strong qualifying form this season, finished 0.260 seconds off Leclerc’s ultimate lap time.

Belgium Sprint Race winner Sérgio Sette Câmara was an impressive third-fastest for MP Motorsport ahead of Leclerc’s main championship rival Oliver Rowland who locked up on his final run.

A late flying lap helped Artem Markelov haul himself into fifth place on the grid ahead of the two ART drivers, Alexander Albon and Nobuhara Matsushita. The top-ten qualifiers were completed by Nyck de Vries (Racing Engineering), Nicholas Latifi (DAMS) and Norman Nato (Arden).

Series debutante Álex Palou used his local knowledge to qualify an impressive eleventh-fastest in his maiden Formula 2 outing with Campos Racing.

Saturday’s 39-lap Feature Race will begin at 14:00 local time.

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 1:24.682
2. Luca Ghiotto Russian Time 1:24.942 + 0.260
3. Sergio Sette Câmara MP Motorsport 1:25.257 + 0.575
4. Oliver Rowland DAMS 1:25.316 + 0.634
5. Artem Markelov Russian Time 1:25.422 + 0.740
6. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1:25.426 + 0.744
7. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:25.450 + 0.768
8. Nyck de Vries Racing Engineering 1:25.470 + 0.788
9. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:25.477 + 0.795
10. Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 1:25.583 + 0.901
11. Álex Palou Campos Racing 1:25.600 + 0.918
12. Louis Delétraz Rapax 1:25.627 + 0.945
13. Santino Ferrucci Trident 1:25.632 + 0.950
14. Jordan King MP Motorsport 1:25.653 + 0.971
15. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 1:25.739 + 1.057
16. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1:25.916 + 1.234
17. Rene Binder Rapax 1:26.121 + 1.439
18. Nabil Jeffri Trident 1:26.148 + 1.486
19. Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 1:26.163 + 1.481
20. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1:26.647 + 1.965

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • None

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.