Championship leader Nyck de Vries will start the Formula 2 Feature Race at the Hungaroring from pole position after qualifying fastest in a rain-hit session.

Fastest in the day’s earlier (dry) Free Practice session, the ART Grand Prix driver picked up where he left off to edge ahead of his championship rivals Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi Racing) and Nicholas Latifi (DAMS).

The feeder series’ qualifying session followed the rain-hit Formula 1 practice session, and the deteriorating conditions immediately caught out de Vries’ teammate Nikita Mazepin. The Russian rookie, who has been completely outclassed by de Vries all season, spun off at Turn 7 on his out-lap and stalled his car. The red flags were briefly unfurled so his stricken car could be moved to safety.

One the session was restarted, de Vries immediately set about getting a lap time on the board and posted a 1:50.820 benchmark effort, which was just 0.061 seconds quicker than the chasing Ghiotto. The Italian looked to go quicker on his next lap with a purple first sector, but a mistake in the final part of the lap meant he went slower – he repeated this pattern on his third flying lap as well.

Latifi – who has incredibly never topped a qualifying session in his F2 career – then moved to the top of the timesheets with a lap that was almost a quarter of a second faster than de Vries, who was then demoted to third place thanks to a rapid lap by PREMA’s Mick Schumacher.

De Vries regrouped and on his next run he knocked out three purple sectors, breaking the 1m50s barrier to reclaim provisional pole position. It was a lap time that proved unbeatable.

A late improvement from Ghiotto netted him a front-row start ahead of Latifi and Schumacher, while Carlin’s Louis Delétraz and Sauber Junior Team driver Callum Ilott locked out the third row of the grid.

Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) and Nobuhara Matsushita (Carlin) were seventh- and eighth-fastest, with Anthoine Hubert (BWT Arden) and Zhou completing the top ten qualifiers.

Hubert, along with teammate Tatiana Calderón (who qualified 18th-fastest) were later disqualified from qualifying when it emerged that they had inadvertently run tyres allocated to each other.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Hungary Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 1:49.809
2. Luca Ghiotto UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 1:50.036 + 0.227
3. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:50.578 + 0.769
4. Mick Schumacher de Prema Racing 1:50.748 + 0.939
5. Louis Delétraz Carlin Motorsport 1:50.853 + 1.044
6. Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:50.871 + 1.062
7. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1:50.962 + 1.153
8. Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin Motorsport 1:51.408 + 1.599
9. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 1:51.573 + 1.764
10. Jordan King MP Motorsport 1:51.717 + 1.908
11. Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:51.788 + 1.979
12. Sérgio Sette Câmara DAMS 1:51.817 + 2.008
13. Giuliano Alesi Trident Racing 1:52.644 + 2.835
14. Arjun Maini Campos Racing 1:52.718 + 2.909
15. Ralph Boschung Trident Racing 1:52.956 + 3.147
16. Sean Gelael Prema Racing 1:52.995 + 3.186
17. Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1:55.217 + 5.408
Non-Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap
DNQ. Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix no time
EXC. Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden excluded
EXC. Tatiana Calderón BWT Arden excluded

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Anthoine Hubert – who provisionally qualified 9th-fastest – was excluded for fitting incorrect tyres.
  • Tatiana Calderón – who provisionally qualified 18th-fastest – was excluded for fitting incorrect tyres.

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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