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Albon beats Norris to take first F2 pole in Baku

by Ida Wood

Alexander Albon took his first Formula 2 pole in Baku qualifying, even though the Thai is still not certain to race at DAMS beyond this weekend.

Albon, competing in Baku for the first time after missing out to injury last year, moved to the top in the first half of the session after getting a tow from championship leader Lando Norris down the long straights that form the third sector of the lap.

Campos Racing’s Luca Ghiotto and Carlin’s Norris headed Albon at one point, but the DAMS driver bettered his time to take pole by two tenths of a second over Norris.

Norris, Ghiotto and ART Grand Prix’s George Russell didn’t get another opportunity to set a lap after Albon’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi span and got stuck on track, bringing out the red flags.

Russell beat Ghiotto to third, with Trident’s Santino Ferrucci getting his best ever qualifying result in fifth.

ART man Jack Aitken was sixth fastest, ahead of Ferrucci’s team-mate Arjun Maini, one of many spinners, Prema’s Nyck de Vries and MP Motorsport driver Ralph Boschung.

Maximilian Gunther was 11th fastest for Arden. After being stranded on track due to flaming brakes in free practice, this time he came to a stop at turn 1 and caused a red flag.

Bahrain sprint race winner Artem Markelov also had a difficult session, qualifying three seconds off the pace in 18th.


Qualifying results?
Pos Name Team Time
1 Alexander Albon DAMS 1m54.480s
2 Lando Norris Carlin +0.214s
3 George Russell ART Grand Prix +0.362s
4 Luca Ghiotto Campos Racing +0.500s
5 Santino Ferrucci Trident +0.720s
6 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin +0.732s
7 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix +0.756s
8 Arjun Maini Trident +0.994s
9 Nyck de Vries Prema +1.248s
10 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport +1.281s
11 Maximilian Gunther Arden +1.490s
12 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time +1.659s
13 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport +2.052s
14 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System +2.610s
15 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System +2.625s
16 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden +2.871s
17 Sean Gelael Prema +3.028s
18 Artem Markelov Russian Time +3.124s
19 Roy Nissany Campos Racing +7.422s
20 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +8.490s