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Vesti takes first pole as track limits shape up F2 grid

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Frederick Vesti topped Formula 2 qualifying for the first time at the Red Bull Ring with a single legal competitive time.

The ART Grand Prix driver was at the bottom of the standings and without a representative time when he jumped up to the top of the order. The time of 1m14.123s put him 0.035s clear of Juri Vips in second.

It was a difficult qualifying session for Vesti’s team-mate and championship contender Theo Pourchaire, who was outside the top 10 until lap time deletions came for Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong, which promoted him to ninth.

A number of other drivers had lap times deleted for exceeding track limits throughout the session, including Jack Doohan and Logan Sargeant.

Doohan was top of the order after the first round of laps, comfortably ahead of Felipe Drugovich and Vips. Sargeant had been just 0.01s back before his time was deleted.

Amaury Cordeel, returning to F2 after a race ban, jumped up to second as he ran in the lull between runs for the rest of the field. He was 0.043s off Doohan’s time.

But when the rest of the field headed back out for their second runs, Cordeel’s time dropped down the order.

Drugovich briefly took provisional pole, but was knocked down by Doohan and then Vesti. Doohan had his lap time deleted, dropping him to P3, but there were further improvements to come from elsewhere on the grid.

Vips jumped up to second, ahead of Sargeant, who was 0.165s back. Ayumu Iwasa was one of the last drivers to set a time and came home fourth, ahead of Drugovich and Doohan.

Cordeel’s time was good enough for seventh, with Richard Verschoor, Pourchaire and Armstrong completing the top 10.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix 1m14.123s 15
2 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m14.158s +0.035s 14
3 Logan Sargeant Carlin 1m14.288s +0.165s 15
4 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m14.307s +0.184s 17
5 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m14.315s +0.192s 16
6 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m14.318s +0.195s 16
7 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing 1m14.457s +0.334s 15
8 Richard Verschoor Trident 1m14.568s +0.445s 16
9 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m14.616s +0.493s 15
10 Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP 1m14.670s +0.547s 14
11 Jehan Daruvala Prema 1m14.702s +0.579s 15
12 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System 1m14.740s +0.617s 17
13 Cem Bolukbasi Charouz Racing System 1m14.765s +0.642s 16
14 Liam Lawson Carlin 1m14.792s +0.669s 15
15 Dennis Hauger Prema 1m14.794s +0.671s 16
16 Calan Williams Trident 1m14.836s +0.713s 18
17 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m14.895s +0.772s 17
18 Marino Sato Virtuosi 1m14.936s +0.813s 14
19 Jake Hughes Van Amersfoort Racing 1m15.005s +0.882s 16
20 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 1m15.123s +1.000s 16
21 Roberto Merhi Campos Racing 1m15.200s +1.077s 16
22 Olli Caldwell Campos Racing 1m15.656s +1.533s 16