Alexander Albon has won back-to-back Formula 2 pole positions, matching his superb qualifying performance a fortnight ago in Azerbaijan to claim prime starting position for Saturday’s Feature Race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The DAMS driver’s final flying lap proved untouchable for the rest of the field, with Nyck de Vries (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Luca Ghiotto (Campos Racing) coming closest in the final reckoning.
Conditions were warm and breezy in the late afternoon, with grip continuing to improve as the track began to cool. Albon’s DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi was the first to beat the Anglo-Thai driver’s practice benchmark and the duo held sway at the top of the timesheets as the session’s halfway point approached.
Running was interrupted when Trident’s Santino Ferrucci hit the wall at Turn 9 and brought out the red flags. The American was proving to have a tough weekend so far, having already spun off in the earlier practice session.
A clever call by the DAMS team saw the outfit get its two drivers out on to an empty track when the session resumed. Latifi improved on his earlier time to get within one-tenth of his teammate’s opening effort, but Albon pulled out all stops and beat his earlier time by a further three-tenths of a second.
Track activity heated up, with a number of frontrunners trying and failing to beat Albon’s time.
Jack Aitken (ART) was the first to split the two DAMS drivers, but he was quickly beaten by teammate George Russell. De Vries then moved ahead of the pair to claim second-fastest, while a last-gasp effort from Ghiotto saw the Italian snatch third on the grid.
Behind the two ART entries, Tadasuke Makino secured seventh in his Russian Time entry ahead of championship leader Lando Norris (Carlin Motorsport). The MP Motorsport pairing of Ralph Boschung and local driver Roberto Merhi locked out the fifth row.
The opening Feature Race will be held over 37 laps, starts at 14:40 local time (GMT +2) on Saturday.
|2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Spain – Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|2.||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:28.369||+ 0.227|
|3.||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:28.400||+ 0.258|
|4.||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1:28.524||+ 0.382|
|5.||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1:28.579||+ 0.437|
|6.||Nicholas Latifi||DAMS||1:28.605||+ 0.463|
|7.||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||1:28.620||+ 0.478|
|8.||Lando Norris||Carlin Motorsport||1:28.923||+ 0.781|
|9.||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1:28.970||+ 0.828|
|10.||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1:29.081||+ 0.939|
|11.||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1:29.130||+ 0.988|
|12.||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||1:29.136||+ 0.994|
|13.||Maximilian Günther||BWT Arden International||1:29.143||+ 1.001|
|14.||Sergio Sette Câmara||Carlin Motorsport||1:29.256||+ 1.114|
|15.||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:29.284||+ 1.142|
|16.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:29.307||+ 1.165|
|17.||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden International||1:29.376||+ 1.234|
|18.||Arjun Maini||Trident Racing||1:29.407||+ 1.265|
|19.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:29.585||+ 1.443|
|20.||Santino Ferrucci||Trident Racing||1:30.440||+ 2.298|
Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship