Jak Crawford picked up his first Formula 2 pole position in an eventful Zandvoort qualifying session that featured three red flags in the closing stages.
With the importance of track position around the narrow and twisting track, there was drama already on the first out laps afte Jack Doohan complained over the radio at not being allowed to pass by his fellow Alpine junior Victor Martins – who was in turn up behind ART Grand Prix team-mate Theo Pourchaire.
While Pourchaire passed a Prema car in the final corners to launch his first flying lap, Doohan also finally got past Martins, but then slowed to create a gap. Ralph Boschung nipped past before Martins also attempted to repass Doohan – with the pair almost colliding as they entered the banked Arie Luyendyk turn. Doohan then picked up the slipstream of Martins, and was almost pushed into the pit wall as he again attempted to get by. The incident was noted by the stewards.
Having backed out of that lap, Doohan then went to the top of the times on his next lap, but it was Red Bull junior Crawford who ended up fastest after the initial runs ahead of Dennis Hauger and Frederik Vesti.
Crawford was involved in another strange incident when the field tried to leave the pits together for the final runs, when he was hit by Clement Novalak as the Trident driver emerged from his pit box. Crawford was forced to pit for a change of front wing, but the attempts of others to improve were interrupted soon afterwards when Jehan Daruvala crashed exiting Hugenholtz, bringing out the red flags.
On the restart, Juan Manuel Correa went fastest in the first sector only to spin in Turn 10, causing another stoppage with less than four minutes left on the clock. Up front, Hauger just managed to improve his time but stayed second, while Zane Maloney leapt up from 20th to fourth.
Any final efforts to improve would also be thwarted by a red flag after Novalak lost control in the same place as Daruvala had earlier on, this time hitting the barriers on the right-hand side and scattering debris over the circuit.
Crawford’s earlier time therefore remained good enough for pole for Hitech GP, ahead of Hauger, Vesti and Maloney.
Doohan would up fifth in front of Ollie Bearman, while Correa still hung on to an impressive seventh place. Martins and Pourchaire were eighth and 10th, separated by Crawford’s team-mate Isack Hadjar, with points leader Pourchaire crucially set to start Saturday’s sprint race from pole.
|1||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m21.210||9|
|2||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1m21.244||+0.034||12|
|5||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1m21.358||+0.148||10|
|7||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m21.437||+0.227||11|
|8||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m21.442||+0.232||9|
|9||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m21.459||+0.249||10|
|10||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1m21.497||+0.287||9|
|11||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1m21.551||+0.341||9|
|14||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m21.617||+0.407||11|
|15||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m21.703||+0.493||10|
|16||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1m21.725||+0.515||10|
|18||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1m21.961||+0.751||9|
|21||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||1m22.773||+1.562||11|
|22||Josh Mason||PHM by Charouz||1m23.763||+2.553||11|