Charles Leclerc claims fifth consecutive Formula 2 pole position in Austria

After qualifying for the Formula 2 Feature Race in Austria, Chris Soulsby looks at the results of the session, which saw Charles Leclerc secure pole position.

After claiming pole position last time out in Azerbaijan, Charles Leclerc continued his current form to secure his fifth consecutive Formula 2 pole of 2017.

Charles Leclerc claims fifth consecutive Formula 2 pole position in Austria

Going into qualifying, a number of drivers were looking competitive and viable candidates to secure pole position, including Antonio Fuoco, Nyck de Vries, Nicholas Latifi, and Oliver Rowland who filled out second – fifth place in practice while Charles Leclerc topped the session.

In the early part of the session, once all 20 drivers had completed their first runs, Leclerc headed up the pack for Prema Racing, 0.131 seconds ahead of Sergio Sette Camara who was second fastest followed by Alexander Albon in third. With 19 minutes remaining, the field then pitted to prepare for their next runs as only 1 second covered the top 15, stalling the action out on track temporarily.

With 17 minutes to go, Artem Markelov and Nabil Jeffri headed out on track to put in a few more laps with the aim of improving their qualifying position, later being joined by Raffaele Marciello with 14 minutes remaining who improved to move into 12th.

The rest of the field then left the pit lane to take to the track for their final runs with ten minutes to go. After Alexander Albon set the pace at the start of the final runs, Sette Camara quickly claimed provisional pole by 0.152 seconds. Leclerc the crossed the line and set the fastest lap, taking the honours of provisional pole away from the Brazilian MP Motorsport driver.

When the checkered flag waved at the end of the session, the yellow flags waved along with it after Sergio Sette Camara beached his car in the gravel trap on the exit of turn 8. With the tyres of the remaining runners heavily worn, no one was able to challenge Leclerc, meaning that the Monégasque driver secured his fifth pole position in five races. Sette Camara remained as Leclerc’s nearest challenger and will start alongside him on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Feature Race. Antonio Fuoco rounded out the top three in third place and will start on the second row of the grid, aiming to bring about a good set of results this weekend after a disappointing start to the 2017 Season.

Heading into the Feature Race, Leclerc is still looking strong behind the wheel of his Prema, and will be looking to add the Red Bull Ring to the list of tracks that he has won at this season. Sergio Sette Camara will also be hoping for a good result, especially with his strong qualifying performance for MP Motorsport, as will Antonio Fuoco. Oliver Rowland on the other hand, will be looking to beat Leclerc in the race in order to close the gap between him and his rival in the Drivers’ Championship – a gap that Leclerc is continuing to extend race by race.

Qualifying results for the Austrian Formula 2 Feature Race:

  1. Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, 1:13.396
  2. Sergio Sette Camara, MP Motorsport, 1:13.736
  3. Antonio Fuoco, Prema Racing, 1:13.776
  4. Alexander Albon, ART Grand Prix, 1:13.888
  5. Oliver Rowland, DAMS, 1:13.903
  6. Nobuharu Matushita, ART Grand Prix, 1:13.922
  7. Nyck De Vries, Rapax, 1:14.034
  8. Luca Ghiotto, Russian Time, 1:14.180
  9. Nicholas Latifi, DAMS, 1:14.193
  10. Norman Nato, Pertamina Arden Racing, 1:14.203
  11. Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing, 1:14.363
  12. Louis Deletraz, Racing Engineering, 1:14.377
  13. Jordan King, MP Motorsport, 1:14.384
  14. Sergio Canamasas, Rapax, 1:14.489
  15. Artem Markelov, Russian Time, 1:14.534
  16. Sean Gelael, Pertamina Arden Racing, 1:14.555
  17. Raffaele Marciello, Trident, 1:14.643
  18. Robert Visoiu, Campos Racing, 1:14.643
  19. Nabil Jeffri, Trident, 1:14.672
  20. Gustav Malja, Racing Engineering, 1:15.121

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