Red Bull Ring F2: Russell beats Carlin pair to pole

Red Bull Ring F2: Russell beats Carlin pair to pole
Jun 29, 2018, 3:51 PM

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell took a second Formula 2 pole in a row at the Red Bull Ring, reducing Lando Norris’s points lead to single digits.

Russell was a level above the rest in practice earlier on in the day, and his pole time was just 0.145s slower than Charles Leclerc’s the year before, despite F2 using a new, heavier car in 2018.

The ART Grand Prix driver had done enough for pole on his penultimate lap, but improved on his final flier by 0.033s to set a time of 1m13.451s.

Norris took second –- his best qualifying since Baku, the second round – with the points' gap down from 13 points to nine heading into tomorrow’s race with an all-British front row.

His final lap ended in the run-off at Turn 9, although the lap didn’t look like challenging Russell. He ended the session 0.2s off pole and fractionally ahead of his Carlin teammate, Sergio Sette Camara.

Russell’s ART Grand Prix stablemate Jack Aitken recovered from contact with Roy Nissany in practice, which awarded them a point and two penalty points respectively, to take fourth for his best qualifying of the season before.

Arjun Maini’s Trident team were rewarded for changing his engine between practice and qualifying with his best starting slot of the season, after problems were identified with the unit he used in Paul Ricard where he issued an emotional radio message in the cooldown laps.

Maxi Gunther was the third driver in a row on the grid to score his best qualifying result this season in sixth for Arden, ahead of Louis Deletraz’s Charouz Racing System-run car.

Alexander Albon hadn’t qualified outside of the top three so far this season, but a wide moment at Turn 4 on his first flying lap stunted his forward progress. He took eighth ahead of the usually further forward Prema-run car of Nyck de Vries.

Tadasuke Makino rounded out the top 10 for Russian Time, while his teammate Artem Markelov could only manage 18th on the grid.

He was ahead of birthday boy Nicholas Latifi – who was the star of last year's feature race, driving through the field to challenge eventual winner Leclerc for victory – and Nissany.

Session results

1 8 united_kingdom George Russell france ART Grand Prix 14 1'13.541  
2 19 united_kingdom Lando Norris united_kingdom Carlin 14 1'13.779 0.238
3 18 brazil Sergio Sette Camara united_kingdom Carlin 13 1'13.823 0.282
4 7 united_kingdom Jack Aitken france ART Grand Prix 14 1'13.961 0.420
5 16 india Arjun Maini italy Trident 14 1'13.999 0.458
6 11 germany Maximilian Gunther united_kingdom Arden International 13 1'14.014 0.473
7 20 switzerland Louis Deletraz czech_republic Charouz Racing System 14 1'14.104 0.563
8 5 thailand Alexander Albon france DAMS 14 1'14.115 0.574
9 4 netherlands Nyck de Vries italy Prema Powerteam 14 1'14.171 0.630
10 2 japan Tadasuke Makino russia RUSSIAN TIME 14 1'14.201 0.660
11 14 italy Luca Ghiotto spain Campos Racing 16 1'14.309 0.768
12 9 spain Roberto Merhi netherlands MP Motorsport 14 1'14.323 0.782
13 21 italy Antonio Fuoco czech_republic Charouz Racing System 14 1'14.330 0.789
14 17 united_states Santino Ferrucci italy Trident 14 1'14.334 0.793
15 3 indonesia Sean Gelael italy Prema Powerteam 16 1'14.363 0.822
16 10 switzerland Ralph Boschung netherlands MP Motorsport 14 1'14.389 0.848
17 12 japan Nirei Fukuzumi united_kingdom Arden International 14 1'14.400 0.859
18 1 russia Artem Markelov russia RUSSIAN TIME 15 1'14.589 1.048
19 6 canada Nicholas Latifi france DAMS 14 1'14.700 1.159
20 15 israel Roy Nissany spain Campos Racing 16 1'15.436 1.895


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