Despite not being among the fastest drivers throughout the majority of the session, Sergio Sette Camara grabs his first pole at this level.
The session took place under cloudy conditions. The track temperature dropped by 10°C and drivers discussed the theoretical chance of rain with their teams just before the qualifying began.
Jack Aitken, Arjun Maini and championship leader George Russell led the pack out on track, where the former could set the fastest lap time. His teammate Russell could be found just 6 hundredths of a second behind after most of the grid had finished their first attempts.
When the teams decided to go for another fast lap without pitting in between, not a single driver could improve further as the tyres didn’t last for a second try.
14 drivers returned to the pits as usual, but the remaining six hadn’t posted a representative lap time and hence went for the gap. For some of them, it worked out perfectly; Artem Markelov crossed the line to post the 6th fastest lap and Nyck de Vries achieved two purple sectors and beat Aitken by 8 hundreths of a second.
Most of the field returned after a short debrief with new tyres applied. Aitken instantly improved again, posted two purple sectors and eventually stopped the clocks even two tenths earlier than before.
His countryman Russell however experienced traffic in the first part of the track, surprised with a purple sector afterwards but couldn’t improve after an average final sector.
The final showdown started 4 minutes before the end without both ARTs, who did their work already a couple of minutes earlier. Aitken watched the final moments with excitement and saw Nyck de Vries struggling as the Dutchman couldn’t keep his tyres alive. The Prema driver therefore stayed behind the Briton, when unexpectedly, Sergio Sette Camara showed a phenomenal sector 3 after decent first sectors.
The Brazilian was another 3 hundredths of a second faster than the ART driver to take his maiden pole position in Formula 2. After six rounds without a pole position, Carlin finished first in qualifying again. MP Motorsport, the only ones to stay out until the end, couldn’t change that fact.
This means that Sette Camara and Aitken will start from the front row with de Vries and Russell behind them. The Brazilian’s teammate Lando Norris finished in P6, while Alexander Albon, who currently lies lies third in the drivers’ standings and showed promising qualifying performance this season, only took 12th place.
|1||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1:27.400|
|3||Nyck de Vries||Prema||1:27.631||+0.231|
|7||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:27.957||+0.557|
|9||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1:27.973||+0.573|
|19||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1:28.724||+1.324|
|20||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||1:28.750||+1.350|