Alexander Albon has claimed his third pole position in a row, edging out Nyck de Vries to top spot by just one-hundredth of a second at the Circuit de Monaco.

The punishing street circuit claimed both Carlin entries, with championship leader Lando Norris and his teammate Sergio Sette Câmara crashing out.

With qualifying split into the two groups to manage track congestion, it was Norris who lead the way early on for Group A. As the Brit tried to consolidate his place at the top of the timesheets, he hit the wall at the exit of the Swimming Pool complex. He attempted to complete his la, but pitted on the following tour with a deranged front wing.

Norris, Carlin - 2018 Formula 2 Championship Race of Monaco

Lando Norris crashes out of qualifying.

Unable to return to the track for the remainder of the session, Norris tumbled down the order as other drivers improved their fastest times. He finished ninth-fastest among the session’s ten drivers, and later earned a grid penalty for impeding Albon on his in-lap to the pits.

While that particular lap of Albon’s was ruined, the Anglo-Thai driver eventually clocked a 1:21.727 effort.

In Group B, De Vries battled his way through traffic to find a clear lap and eventually posted a 1:21.737 time – good enough for second-fastest overall, but tantalizingly close to claiming pole position for himself.

De Vries’ fastest time demoted Sette Câmara from top spot. As the Brazilian attempted to regain the position, he crashed into the Sainte-Dévote barriers and appeared to clutch his wrist after emerging from his car. With one minute to go, the session was red-flagged. at this point.

Like his compatriot and championship rival Norris, George Russell had a similarly fraught Thursday outing. The Brit only ran four laps in the day’s sole practice session before his car struck engine trouble, and with next to no mileage on a track he had not competed on, he was not surprisingly well down the order.

The Monaco Feature Race, to be run over 42 laps, takes place on Friday at 11:30 local time (GMT +2).

2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Monaco – Qualifying Results
Group A Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap Grid
1. Alexander Albon DAMS 1:21.727 1
2. Artem Markelov Russian Time 1:21.834 + 0.107 3
3. Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1:21.948 + 0.221 5
4. Santino Ferrucci Trident Racing 1:22.408 + 0.681 7
5. Roberto Merhi es MP Motorsport 1:22.569 + 0.681 9
6. Jack Aitken uk ART Grand Prix 1:22.597 + 0.842 11
7. Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1:22.654 + 0.870 13
8. Lando Norris* uk Carlin Motorsport 1:22.663 + 0.927 18
9. Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 1:23.796 + 2.069 16
DQ. Maximilian Günther* de BWT Arden International
Group B Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap Grid
1. Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1:21.737 2
2. Sergio Sette Câmara Carlin Motorsport 1:21.901 + 0.164 4
3. Luca Ghiotto it Campos Vexatec Racing 1:22.241 + 0.504 6
4. Arjun Maini in Trident Racing 1:22.263 + 0.526 8
5. Ralph Boschung ch MP Motorsport 1:22.307 + 0.570 10
6. Tadasuke Makino Russian Time 1:22.420 + 0.683 12
7. Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden International 1:22.707 + 0.970 14
8. Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:22.717 + 0.980 15
9. George Russell uk ART Grand Prix 1:22.977 + 1.240 17
10. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:28.605 + 1.420 19

*Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Lando Norris was awarded a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alexander Albon during qualifying.
  • Maximilian Günther was stripped of his qualifying times for missing the weighbridge. He will be required to start the Feature Race from the pit lane.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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