Home Featured Verschoor takes first F2 pole in Monaco, denying Martins by 0.027s

Verschoor takes first F2 pole in Monaco, denying Martins by 0.027s

by Peter Allen

Photo: Trident

Richard Verschoor scored a surprise first Formula 2 pole position in Monaco qualifying as Trident came close to an unlikely front-row lock-out.

After Thursday’s wet practice session, qualifying was the first dry running for the F2 drivers in Monaco.

In the opening group for even-numbered cars, Zak O’Sullivan set the early pace through the first two sets of representative flying laps. There was then a scary moment in the tunnel where Ritomo Miyata – crawling slowly on the inside with an apparent technical issue – was almost hit at speed by Isack Hadjar, who just managed to take avoiding action.

Completing his first ever laps in Monaco in the dry, Andrea Kimi Antonelli was one second off after his first attempt. He waited an extra lap to make his second – putting him off sequence with the traffic – and set a fastest first sector before came across a slow Juan Manuel Correa in the chicane – the DAMS driver will be investigated for impeding.

Gabriel Bortoleto went fastest with two minutes remaining despite hitting the inside barrier at Tabac, before Verschoor then went four tenths of a second faster with a time of 1m21.283s.

O’Sullivan could this time only manage third when he crossed the line, before Hadjar slotted into second, 0.157 seconds away from Verschoor.

Verschoor didn’t improve in any of the three sectors on his final lap but held onto top spot ahead of Hadjar.

Franco Colapinto jumped up to third at the end with Antonelli claiming fourth, shuffling Bortoleto back to fifth, while O’Sullivan ended up eighth.

The second group’s progress towards matching Verschoor’s benchmark was interrupted early on after Rafael Villagomez hit the barriers in Sainte Devote, causing a red flag.

After the restart, Victor Martins set the initial pace ahead of Verschoor’s team-mate Stanek, who would beat an improved time from Martins to take top spot with less than three minutes remaining.

Stanek had however already landed himself under investigation for impeding Dennis Hauger through the final corners.

With one minute to go, both Hauger and Martins set improved times that fell short of Stanek’s time, before Stanek then hit the barriers in Tabac – managing to then get in Hauger’s way once more as he aborted his lap.

On his final attempt, Martins managed to better Stanek’s time to make the front row but he fell short of beating Verschoor to pole by 0.027s.

After a quiet session up to this point, Paul Aron set fastest first and final sectors on his last lap but wound up 0.037s slower than Martins overall as he took second in the group and fourth on the grid.

Hauger finished up fourth fastest with Taylor Barnard fifth, securing reversed-grid pole for the sprint race.

Ollie Bearman went third-fastest with two minutes to go, setting the pace in the first sector before losing four tenths in the second, only to then hit the left-hand barrier hard on the approach to Ste Devote on his final effort, leaving him on the sixth row for both races.

Championship leader Zane Maloney finished up seventh in the group despite briefly taking top spot with four minutes remaining.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Group A Group B
1 Richard Verschoor Trident 1m21.283s
2 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m21.310s
3 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing 1m21.440s
4 Paul Aron Hitech GP 1m21.347s
5 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m21.655s
6 Roman Stanek Trident 1m21.466s
7 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1m21.669s
8 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m21.659s
9 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing 1m21.670s
10 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing 1m21.831s
11 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 1m21.723s
12 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m21.919s
13 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS 1m21.771s
14 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport 1m21.941s
15 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix 1m21.985s
16 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing 1m21.988s
17 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP 1m22.219s
18 Jak Crawford DAMS 1m22.030s
19 Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing 1m22.387s
20 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m22.226s
21 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport 1m27.498s
22 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m40.365s