Home Featured Hauger storms to pole in F2’s interrupted Melbourne qualifying

Hauger storms to pole in F2’s interrupted Melbourne qualifying

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

A blistering late lap awarded Dennis Hauger pole position for the third round of the Formula 2 season in a twice interrupted qualifying session in Melbourne.

The session was first red flagged six minutes in and before representative laptimes were set. ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins had ran excessively over the kerb exiting turn six and lost control of his car, spinning and stalling. As a consequence, he is set to start both races this weekend from last place.

Qualifying restarted and Virtuosi Racing’s Kush Maini was first to set a lap, which was soon beaten by Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli. Hitech GP’s Paul Aron was on top once all had completed one flying lap, while DAMS’ Jak Crawford returned to the pits with a puncture after brushing the wall at the exit of turn five.

Several drivers beat Aron’s benchmark on their second lap, but the Estonian did the same as he improved by six tenths of a second to 1m29.385s to be back on top. When the first runs ended Aron was on top by just 0.003 secons over MP Motorsport’s Hauger, with Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar in third and also within 0.1s of the pace.

When drivers went out on track again on a new set of supersoft compound tyres, a blistering third sector lifted Rodin Motorsport’s Zane Maloney to first place by 0.011s. Red flags then waved as Crawford went off and into the barriers at turn 12. Several drivers had to abort flying laps as a consequence.

The track went green again with four minutes left on the clock, enough time one flying lap to be set.

Maini rose to the top of the times despite encountering team-mate Gabriel Bortoleto, who had gone off at turn 12, before the last corner. Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Antonelli then went fastest, bettering the Alpine junior by almost 0.3s. Trident’s Richard Verschoor also went faster than Maini.

Yellow flags were waved at turn six as Van Amersfoort Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi found the wall. However, that did not prevent Hauger from going fastest by 0.344s to take pole.

Maloney and Aron were shuffled down to fifth and sixth, Hadjar qualified eighth behind team-mate Pepe Marti, Bortoleto was ninth fastest and rounding out the top 10 meant Trident’s Roman Stanek picked up reversed-grid pole for the sprint race.

Prema’s Ollie Bearman could only go 16th fastest on his F2 return after debuting in F1 last time out in Jeddah.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m28.694s 14
2 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1m29.038s +0.344s 15
3 Richard Verschoor Trident 1m29.173s +0.479s 14
4 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing 1m29.313s +0.619s 14
5 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport 1m29.374s +0.680s 14
6 Paul Aron Hitech GP 1m29.385s +0.691s 13
7 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m29.429s +0.735s 15
8 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing 1m29.470s +0.776s 13
9 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing 1m29.502s +0.808s 16
10 Roman Stanek Trident 1m29.594s +0.900s 15
11 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix 1m29.632s +0.938s 14
12 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport 1m29.702s +1.008s 15
13 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m29.972s +1.278s 14
14 Joshua Duerksen PHM Racing 1m30.005s +1.311s 14
15 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 1m30.232s +1.538s 15
16 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m30.570s +1.876s 13
17 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m31.083s +2.389s 14
18 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 1m31.578s +2.884s 12
19 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP 1m31.741s +3.047s 14
20 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS 1m31.828s +3.134s 14
21 Jak Crawford DAMS 1m55.308s +26.614s 8
22 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m59.836s +31.142s 3