Home Featured Vesti claims Monaco F2 pole between three red flags

Vesti claims Monaco F2 pole between three red flags

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Frederik Vesti took pole position on the streets of Monaco as three red flags disrupted running during Formula 2 qualifying. 

Arthur Leclerc, Jehan Daruvala and Clement Novalak all found the barriers, with Daruvala and Novalak bringing out red flags that would end their respective sessions a few seconds early. 

The interruptions scuppered a number of laps, including one from race winner Dennis Hauger who was moments away from the start finish line when the red flag was flown at the end of Group B. 

As in Formula 3, the field was split into two groups to try to avoid traffic issues around the tight Monaco circuit. Despite these efforts, a few drivers ran into problems. 

In Group A, Kush Maini set the pace early on, but lap times rapidly tumbled throughout the session. Richard Verschoor was top of the order when Leclerc found the barriers at the final corner with just under six minutes remaining. At this point, Enzo Fittipaldi, Roy Nissany and Jack Doohan hadn’t completed a representative lap. 

Doohan was immediately on the charge once the track turned green again, going purple in the first sector as he aimed to put himself on the board. Traffic from Maini late in the lap cost him valuable fractions of a second, but Doohan still jumped to the top of the times with a time of 1m21.432s.  

The time wouldn’t be good enough for the top spot for long, though, as Victor Martins improved with a time of 1m21.231s. 

As others were on their final lap of the session, Jehan Daruvala hit the wall at Mirabeau, bringing out the red flag again and ending the session. 

Group B was slightly cleaner, with only one stoppage at the end of the session. As in Group A, the fastest time changed hands rapidly, with Dennis Hauger, Vesti and Theo Pourchaire among those to briefly take the top spot. 

Vesti was the first to take provisional pole from Martins, setting a lap time of 1m21.053s. Pourchaire could only manage second, 0.052s off the pace. 

The session was ended early when Novalak hit the barriers at Portier, bringing out the red flag.  

The incident meant Hauger couldn’t improve on his lap time and he placed only ninth in the session, putting him 17th on the grid for Sunday’s feature race. 

Vesti and Martins will line up together on the front row of the grid, ahead of Pourchaire and Doohan. 

Zane Maloney and Verschoor were third quickest in their groups, and start just ahead of Jak Crawford and Daruvala. 

Ayumu Iwasa spent the session having to manage bent steering after touching the inside barrier at the Nouvelle Chicane. Despite taking the top spot early in Group B, he was down to fifth overall when the red flag was brought out. He starts ninth, ahead of Isack Hadjar, who has reversed-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Group A Group B Laps
1 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m21.053s 10
2 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m21.231s 10
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m21.105s 10
4 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 1m21.432s 10
5 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m21.463s 10
6 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 1m21.639s 11
7 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m21.576s 10
8 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m21.642s 11
9 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m21.796s 10
10 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m21.645s 10
11 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing 1m21.809s 10
12 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m21.820s 11
13 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 1m21.835s 10
14 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m21.824s 9
15 Clement Novalak Trident 1m22.088s 10
16 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m22.201s 9
17 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m22.097s 10
18 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m22.804s 10
19 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m22.182s 10
20 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m23.340s 6
21 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz 1m22.721s 10
22 Roman Stanek Trident 1m24.600s 10