Prema’s Ollie Bearman claimed pole position in Formula 2 qualifying at Barcelona in a highly strategical session.
Several drivers opted to go early on their second set of tyres, leaving them at the mercy of those who stayed longer in the pitlane and headed out later on a more rubbered-in track.
Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan was fastest after the first flying lap attempts, having set a benchmark of 1m24.078s. DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa sat second, almost four tenths off of Doohan’s laptime. Meanwhile, both Prema drivers waited in the pitlane for the rest of the field to come in and have no traffic on their flying laps.
Pirelli’s soft compound tyre and high track temperatures meant few drivers were able to lower their marks on the second flying lap of the first set of tyres, and Bearman and team-mate Frederik Vesti’s tactic left them fourth and eighth respectively heading into the second half of qualifying.
Also aiming to have clean air were MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger and Jehan Daruvala, who took to the track for the second time with over 15 minutes remaining on the clock. Hauger moved up to first place, bettering Doohan’s laptime by one-and-a-half tenths of a second. Daruvala advanced to third, 0.333 seconds behind his team-mate.
ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire briefly went to the top of the times before Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi claimed the fastest lap with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Late attempts from Iwasa, Bearman and Doohan allowed them to gain places in the starting grid order.
Ferrari junior Bearman had gone fastest by 0.077 seconds when Doohan started his lap. The Alpine junior was on course to take pole, but a slow third sector meant his lap was only good enough for third place.
His Virtuosi team-mate Amaury Cordeel will start the sprint race from reversed-grid pole after qualifying 10th. Alonsgide him on the front row will be Hitech GP’s Jak Crawford, who will aim for a fourth sprint podium in a row.
|3||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1m23.656s||+0.110s||7|
|5||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1m23.744s||+0.198s||11|
|6||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1m23.923s||+0.377s||9|
|7||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m23.978s||+0.432s||11|
|9||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m24.069s||+0.523s||9|
|10||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1m24.087s||+0.541s||10|
|11||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m24.106s||+0.560s||11|
|12||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m24.110s||+0.564s||11|
|14||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1m24.244s||+0.698s||10|
|15||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1m24.256s||+0.710s||9|
|16||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||1m24.356s||+0.810s||11|
|17||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m24.497s||+0.951s||12|
|20||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m24.566s||+1.020s||11|
|22||Brad Benavides||PHM by Charouz||1m24.803s||+1.257s||13|