Felipe Drugovich put in a late lap to snatch his second FIA Formula 2 pole position during a qualifying session interrupted by three red flags in Jeddah.
The MP Motorsport driver lapped 0.226 seconds faster than Trident’s Richard Verschoor. Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan moved up to third on his final effort. Marcus Armstrong was fourth for Hitech, having led the way before the final stoppage.
Ralph Boschung topped the timesheets for Campos during the early stages of the 30-minute session with a 1m42.096s lap. The F2 veteran then lowered his benchmark by almost 0.4s.
Jake Hughes improved on his first effort to go quickest for Van Amersfoort Racing before the first red flag period. Having crashed heavily in free practice, Theo Pourchaire caused the stoppage when his car caught fire and stopped at the side of the circuit. The ART driver will face a challenge in adding to his win in Bahrain. He is due to start both of this weekend’s races from 21st on the grid.
A crash for Logan Sargeant brought out the red flags for a second time before anyone could improve their times.
Ayuma Iwasa leapt to the top of the timesheets for DAMS when the action resumed. But his effort was soon bettered by Armstrong. Despite almost making contact with ART’s Frederick Vesti at the final corner, Boschung lapped just 0.007s shy of Armstrong to move into second. The session was stopped again due a bizarre situation when a false alarm from Vesti’s car triggered the deployment of the medical car.
Armstrong did not return to the track when the session resumed with a few minutes remaining. The Kiwi watched on as Drugovich, Verschoor and Doohan all bettered his time. The trio also demoted Boschung to fifth, while Carlin’s Liam Lawson improved to sixth on his final lap.
Iwasa ended up seventh ahead of Trident’s Calan Williams – another to make a late improvement. Juri Vips was ninth for Hitech GP ahead of Hughes, whose 10th position puts him at the front of the grid for Saturday’s sprint race. Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Denis Hauger was 11th, while his Prema team-mate was 15th.
Cem Bolukbasi did not take part in qualifying following a hefty crash in practice. The Charouz driver has confirmed on social media that is he is “OK,” despite a trip to hospital for precautionary checks.
Featured image credit: Formula Motorsport Limited