Home Featured Hadjar took “first run to adapt, second to deliver” F2 pole after F1 outing

Hadjar took “first run to adapt, second to deliver” F2 pole after F1 outing

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Red Bull

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar claimed his maiden Formula 2 pole at Silverstone despite ending his last qualifying run early.

The Red Bull junior, who is second in the championship standings, topped qualifying by 0.251 seconds over ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins.

Hadjar felt the pole had been a long time coming having only qualified once outside the top eight and three times within the top three in the first half of the 2024 season. As a rookie last year his qualifying highlights were two fourth places.

“It came a bit late to be honest,” he told media including Formula Scout about clinching his first pole. “Had a few shots at it this year already. Maybe not last year, but yeah, it took a bit of time. But finally we’ve made it. The car was just perfect today and the lap was great, so it made sense.”

Between F2 practice – where he only did one timed lap right at the end of a rain-hit session – and qualifying at Silverstone, the Frenchman had driven for Red Bull in Formula 1’s first practice session. Returning behind the wheel of his F2 car was a challenge, but nothing that he could not overcome.

Hadjar was seventh fastest — 0.458s off the benchmark set by Hitech GP’s Paul Aron — after his first qualifying run. Then just one timed lap on his second set of supersoft compound tyres was enough to claim pole. After that, he was the first driver to return to the pitlane while there was still one-and-a-half minutes left on the clock and the track was getting faster.

“I was not improving, so there was no point in staying on track,” he explained. “It’s better to save fuel, the tyres. And I was just hoping for everyone to not beat my lap.

“I knew it was to be honest a one lap tyre. At least for me. So when I saw after the first lap I was ahead, I had high confidence I would keep it. 

He followed: “It’s really hard to go from F1 to F2 within one and a half hours. It’s changing completely your references and your feeling with the car. It’s completely different. You go from power steering to none. So it felt quite heavy to be honest. And it’s just messing up with the references. So the first one [qualifying run] was to adapt and the second one to deliver.” 

Sunday’s feature race could be a good opportunity for Hadjar to cut Aron’s championship lead. The Estonian will line up down in 12th place due to a mistake on his second run. Nevertheless, Hadjar prefers to focus on himself.

“It’s the best opportunity for me to win because I’m starting from pole,” he stated. “Then what Paul does, I can’t control it, so I really don’t care. He made a mistake and that’s it. I mean, what can I do? I’m going to start from pole, try to win the race and get those points.”