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Martins fastest in frenetic F2 qualifying at Red Bull Ring

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Victor Martins secured his second Formula 2 pole in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring as track limit violations continued to play a part in the order of the timesheets.

The ART Grand Prix driver topped most of the 30-minute session while points leader Frederik Vesti edged chief title rival Theo Pourchaire to second.

Martins posted an opening effort of 1m14.926s to lead the way by 0.151 seconds from free practice pacesetter Enzo Fittipaldi. 

Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan improved on his second timed lap to third place ahead of Vesti, which became second when Fittipaldi’s laptime was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Doohan then had his best lap removed and slipped back to fifth, with team-mate Amaury Cordeel moving up to second ahead of Vesti and Pourchaire at the halfway stage.

There was a brief lull in the action as drivers returned to the pitlane to prepare for their second runs, and there was a flurry of improvements in the final few minutes.

Fittipaldi was one of the first to better his time, moving up to second, but the Rodin Carlin driver was soon demoted down to seventh as others went faster.

Martins went quicker still with a 1m14.643s, a time that would not be beaten, while Vesti pipped Pourchaire to second. Doohan improved but remained fifth behind Campos Racing’s Kush Maini.

Fittipaldi was thwarted in his attempts to improve, with Jehan Daruvala recovering from a trip through the gravel in front of him, but the Brazilian still gained once place to sixth after Ayuma Iwasa had his best lap taken away.

Amaury Cordeel ended up seventh ahead of Arthur Leclerc, another to have a laptime deleted over track limits, while Daruvala was ninth. Hitech GP’s Jak Crawford provisionally secured reversed-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race in 10th.

Prema’s Ollie Bearman also fell foul of track limits, incurring a final warning by being shown the black-and-white flag, and qualified 19th.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m14.643s 14
2 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m14.782s +0.139s 16
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m14.813s +0.170s 14
4 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m14.858s +0.215s 14
5 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 1m14.860s +0.217s 18
6 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m14.953s +0.310s 16
7 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing 1m14.987s +0.344s 14
8 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m15.017s +0.374s 16
9 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m15.085s +0.442s 17
10 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m15.087s +0.444s 15
11 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 1m15.128s +0.485s 17
12 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 1m15.203s +0.560s 17
13 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m15.237s +0.594s 16
14 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m15.244s +0.601s 17
15 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m15.374s +0.700s 16
16 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m15.469s +0.826s 16
17 Roman Stanek Trident 1m15.502s +0.859s 15
18 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz 1m15.650s +1.007s 17
19 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m15.690s +1.047s 16
20 Clement Novalak Trident 1m15.702s +1.059s 15
21 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m15.808s +1.165s 11
22 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m15.828s +1.185s 15