Jack Doohan edged fellow Alpine Academy member Victor Martins to pole position in a thrilling Formula 2 qualifying session at the Hungaroring.
Virtuosi Racing driver Doohan denied Martins a third pole in a row by 0.052 seconds, while Prema’s Frederik Vesti beat chief title rival Theo Pourchaire to fourth.
Qualifying began on a mostly dry track, with Vesti quickly going half a second below the pace from morning practice to lead the way with a 1m28.334s.
Spots of rain started to fall on part of the circuit, but that did not appear to have an effect as Vesti improved to 1m27.931s and Ayumu Iwasa climbed to second.
ART Grand Prix duo Martins and Pourchaire soon moved up to second and third, and Iwasa was then demoted from fourth by Enzo Fittipaldi.
Red flags were shown at the 10-minute mark when Trident’s Romanek Stanek found the wall after spinning off at turn 11.
Rain was replaced by sunshine by the time qualifying restarted, and Doohan made use of the improved conditions to climb to third while Iwasa slightly improved his own laptime but remained fifth.
Pourchaire moved to the top with an effort just 0.001s faster than Vesti’s previous benchmark, but Vesti quickly reclaimed the advantage with a 1m27.767s.
Having slipped down to 10th, Iwasa improved again with four minutes remaining to sit fourth behind Martins, who snatched top spot moments later with a 1m27.728s.
Doohan then set a 1m27.626s, a lap that would ultimately prove good enough for his fourth F2 pole – and his first since Monza last season.
Pourchaire set a personal best first sector on his final timed lap, but ended up aborting his effort after a tricky middle sector.
Martins also went quicker through the first sector, but did not improve on second. Doohan was set to go faster still but, with pole in the bag, headed for the pitlane instead.
Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar ended up fifth ahead of Iwasa, with Prema’s Ollie Bearman and MP Motorsport duo Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger close behind.
Campos Racing’s Kush Maini was 0.009s adrift of Hauger in 10th, provisionally securing reversed-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race.
|1||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1m27.676s||12|
|2||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1m27.728s||+0.052s||13|
|4||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1m27.930s||+0.254s||12|
|5||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||1m27.987s||+0.311s||13|
|8||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1m28.153s||+0.477s||14|
|9||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1m28.155s||+0.479s||14|
|10||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1m28.164s||+0.488s||11|
|12||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m28.286s||+0.610s||13|
|13||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m28.316s||+0.640s||11|
|16||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m28.764s||+1.088s||14|
|18||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||1m28.830s||+1.154s||13|
|19||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||1m29.000s||+1.324s||14|
|20||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1m29.033s||+1.357s||13|
|21||Brad Benavides||PHM by Charouz||1m29.328s||+1.652s||14|