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Doohan claims his third F2 pole at Monza

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan claimed Formula 2 pole position at Monza in a qualifying session where the last run for many drivers was affected by yellow flags.

It is the Alpine junior’s third pole of the season, following the Bahrain season opener and Barcelona.

Carlin’s Liam Lawson was the first driver to set a representative laptime in qualifying and top the times ahead of Charouz Racing System’s Enzo Fittipaldi and MP Motorsport’s points leader Felipe Drugovich.

Lawson himself lowered his time by three tenths in his next push lap, but that wouldn’t be enough to stay on top. ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire, Drugovich and Lawson’s team-mate Logan Sargeant then went fastest one after the other, but Hitech’s GP Juri Vips would be the man finally taking the top spot.

The Estonian benefitted from the slipstream of DAMS’ series returnee Luca Ghiotto coming into the main straight, and set a time almost half a second faster than Sargeant’s benchmark.

It seemed all settled for the first run when Doohan, who had gone out on track later than most drivers, rose to the top thanks to a blistering third sector.

Cars took the track again on a new set of soft tyres with five minutes to go of qualifying. Doohan’s best lap was beaten by several drivers, but it would eventually be the Alpine junior who would again hold the top spot once everyone had completed their first push laps on their second set of tyres.

DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa then lost control of his car at Parabolica as he went on the throttle heading into the main straight. Yellow flags were out as the car hit the barrier, meaning no one was able to improve in that section of the track.

These late yellow flags secured pole for Doohan, ahead of Lawson and Hitech’s Marcus Armstrong. ART GP’s Frederik Vesti and Sargeant will share the front row in Saturday’s sprint race as they concluded the session in 10th and ninth place respectively.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m31.641s 13
2 Liam Lawson Carlin 1m31.767s +0.126s 12
3 Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP 1m31.834s +0.193s 12
4 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m31.845s +0.204s 14
5 Richard Verschoor Trident 1m31.859s +0.218s 14
6 Jehan Daruvala Prema 1m31.882s +0.241s 11
7 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m31.920s +0.279s 12
8 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m31.969s +0.328s 12
9 Logan Sargeant Carlin 1m32.023s +0.382s 13
10 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix 1m32.027s +0.386s 14
11 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing 1m32.192s +0.551s 12
12 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing 1m32.348s +0.707s 12
13 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m32.352s +0.711s 14
14 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m32.424s +0.783s 13
15 Marino Sato Virtuosi 1m32.452s +0.811s 11
16 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System 1m32.455s +0.814s 13
17 Calan Williams Trident 1m32.652s +1.011s 14
18 Luca Ghiotto DAMS 1m32.854s +1.213s 14
19 Dennis Hauger Prema 1m32.913s +1.272s 11
20 Olli Caldwell Campos Racing 1m33.195s +1.554s 14
21 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 1m33.345s +1.704s 12
22 Tatiana Calderon Charouz Racing System 1m33.625s +1.984s 13