Carlin wins out after a thrilling close battle for the top spot for tomorrow’s Feature Race.
Baku City Circuit is no stranger to drama, and today was no exception. In this morning’s Free Practice session we saw multiple spin-offs. Nikita Mazepin and Mahaveer Raghunathan both endured spinning out in that session.
And after an eventful (but also not quite eventful) Formula 1 practice session, today’s qualifying was delayed by half an hour.
Early in the session, Sean Galael stopped his PREMA car between turns 7 and 8. This turned the yellow flag into red. The session restarted at 3.41pm local time, to which the Indonesian driver did not return.
Once the session restarted, Jordan King was making early impressions, setting 1:57:213 for the rest of the grid to challenge. Luca Ghiotto then showed his strengths in the UNI Virtuosi car setting a 1.55.468. Sérgio Sette Câmara set a time of 1:58:067, just before Nobuharu Matsushita set the exact same time.
Nyck de Vries brought the challenge to Ghiotto the latter half of the session. De Vries would eventually go on to knock Ghiotto off the top of the time sheets. In the final 26 seconds of the session Matsushita managed top edge out de Vries, taking his second F2 pole position with a time of 1:54:555. This is the Japanese driver’s first pole since Monza in 2017. De Vries ended up 4 tenths behind the Carlin driver in P2.
Fleshing out the remainder of the top ten are Ghiotto, Sérgio Sette Câmara, Jordan King, Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Jack Aitken, Anthoine Hubert and Ralph Boschung.
The rest of the grid lines up as Callum Ilott, Louis Delétraz, Guanyu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Nakita Mazepin, Dorian Boccolacci, Juan Manuel Correa, Tatiana Calderón, Mahaveer Raghunathan, and Sean Gelael with no time set.
However, Raghunathan will start tomorrow’s Feature Race from the Pit Lane. This comes after a penalty given over failing to stop for weighing during the Free Practice session.
UPDATE: Sean Gelael has been disqualified from qualifying, and will start at the back of the grid. This is due to a penalty which incurred over restarting his car as marshals tried to push the car off the track.