Norris takes first pole position of the season

Lando Norris, Sakhir 2018
F3 champion Norris secures his maiden pole in F2

McLaren junior driver Lando Norris sets the fastest lap time in Bahrain, closely followed by George Russell and Alexander Albon.

Under the floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit, the drivers started the first competitive session with the new Dallara F2 2018.

Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci was the first to exit the pit lane, just after the lights turned green. Artem Markelov surprisingly started with Medium tyres, only to return to the pits after one lap to switch to soft tyres again.

Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara posted the initial representative lap time, followed by his teammate Norris and Trident’s Arjun Maini. Almost everyone went off at the last corner; the reason for this issue is not 100 percent clear, but it has been assumed that oil caused this bizarre behaviour.

After the first part of flying laps, George Russell could be found on top with a 1:42.373, only one hundredths of a second in front of Alexander Albon and Sette Camara, who was just five hundredths adrift. On the other side of the timesheet, Sean Gelael had to stay in the pits, while last year’s Artem Markelov could be found in a devastating P17.

Hence, the Russian Renault protégé went for the gap between the first and the second part of attempts but almost unbelievably couldn’t improve at all.

Maini was the next one trying to ameliorate his lap time. The Indian ended up in P4, just to be outshined by ART’s Russel who improved his own provisional pole by half a second.

Maximilian Günther, Jack Aitken and Sette Camara improved to P2 when they crossed the line but still were about half a second behind. Especially for Aitken, who races under the same conditions as Russell, this result can’t be satisfying at all.

With 6 min to got, most of the grid prepared their final flying laps, while drivers like Günther and Maini decided to stop their session after their second tries.

Albon improved but still was three tenths adrift, however Carlin’s Lando Norris soared to pole position despite missing the last corner. Louis Delétraz snatched P4, the Japanese rookies Fukuzumi and Makino improved significantly but unfortunately Artem Markelov couldn’t really improve even though he tried to in final attempt. The Russian has to start from P15 tomorrow after being clearly beaten by his rookie teammate, who turned out to be 6 tenths faster.

Just like Markelov, Sean Gelael (P19), Nicholas Latifi (P15) and Arjun Maini (P14), who was fastest in today’s practice session, can’t be happy about their qualifying performance.

In conclusion, two rookies secured their front row positions, with European Formula 3 champion Norris on pole and GP3 champion Russell in P2. DAMS’ Alexander Albon remained in P3, followed by McLaren junior de Vries, Delétraz and Norris’ teammate Sette Camara.

Qualifying Results

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Gap
1 Lando Norris Carlin 1:41.761
2 George Russell ART 1:41.823 +0.062
3 Alexander Albon DAMS 1:41.850 +0.089
4 Nyck de Vries Prema 1:41.880 +0.119
5 Louis Deletraz Charouz 1:42.174 +0.413
6 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1:42.221 +0.460
7 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden 1:42.246 +0.485
8 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time 1:42.264 +0.503
9 Jack Aitken ART 1:42.282 +0.521
10 Maximilian Günther Arden 1:42.336 +0.575
11 Antonio Fuoco Charouz 1:42.342 +0.581
12 Luca Ghiotto Campos 1:42.414 +0.653
13 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 1:42.423 +0.662
14 Arjun Maini Trident 1:42.437 +0.676
15 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:42.447 +0.686
16 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1:42.460 +0.699
17 Artem Markelov Russian Time 1:42.816 +1.055
18 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1:42.818 +1.057
19 Sean Gelael Prema 1:43.016 +1.255
20 Roy Nissany Campos 1:43.350 +1.589



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