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Qualifying report

F2 Bahrain: Alpine junior Doohan storms to pole over Pourchaire

Formula 3 graduate Jack Doohan took his maiden FIA Formula 2 pole position at the Bahrain season-opener, the Virtuosi Racing driver beating Theo Pourchaire to the top spot in qualifying.

Jack Doohan, F2

Jack Doohan, F2

FIA Formula 2

The 2021 F3 runner-up set a 1m40.542s to top the timesheet for only his third F2 feature race, after contesting the final two F2 rounds of 2021 for MP Motorsport.

Doohan, who joined the Alpine Academy during the off-season, pipped ART Grand Prix driver Pourchaire to the top spot by just over a tenth of a second in a session that was red flagged after just 58 seconds.

DAMS rookie Ayumu Iwasa span off at Turn 2 on his first lap out of the pits, the Japanese beaching his car in the gravel and ruining his qualifying as a result.

The Van Amersfoort Racing pair were first out on track when action resumed five minutes later, with Jake Hughes setting the first fast lap of the session with a 1m41.469s.

Doohan went straight into second with his first flying lap, setting a 1m41.614s, less than two-tenths behind Hughes.

Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) briefly knocked Hughes off the top of the leaderboard, setting a 1m41.210s, before the Briton recaptured the top spot with a 1m41.121s.

Ralph Boschung was also in the mix for the top spots in the early stages, the Campos driver knocking Doohan out of the top three with a 1m41.554s. But Doohan went fastest on his next flying lap as the first driver to break into the 1m40s with a 1m40.542s, which wasn't beaten for the remainder of the session.

Sauber junior driver Pourchaire was just a tenth slower on his next fast run, but had his lap time deleted after exceeding track limits at Turn 4. The Monegasque addressed that by putting himself second on the following run, with a 1m40.683s.

Hitech Grand Prix's Juri Vips also broke into the 1m40s, briefly going second fastest with a 1m40.755s before Pourchaire pushed him into third.

Another F3 graduate, Carlin's Logan Sargeant, took fourth on his second appearance in F2 - having made a cameo at Jeddah last year with HWA Racelab - while Boschung and Sargeant’s team-mate Liam Lawson rounded out the top six.

Drugovich was tenth-fastest and will start on pole for Saturday’s reverse-grid sprint race, with Richard Verschoor (Trident) joining him on the front row.

A near-miss between Dennis Hauger and Vips - who was on a flying lap as Hauger entered the pitlane - will be investigated after the session.

Prema driver Hauger, the 2021 F3 champion, finished the session in 15th.

F2 Bahrain practice times:

Cla Driver Team Laps Time
1 Australia Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 9 1'40.542
2 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 12 1'40.683
3 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 10 1'40.755
4 United States Logan Sargeant United Kingdom Carlin 12 1'40.760
5 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 12 1'41.000
6 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom Carlin 11 1'41.100
7 India Jehan Daruvala Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'41.115
8 United Kingdom Jake Hughes Van Amersfoort Racing 12 1'41.121
9 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Italy Trident 10 1'41.178
10 Brazil Felipe Drugovich Netherlands MP Motorsport 10 1'41.210
11 Israel Roy Nissany Japan Nissan e.Dams 11 1'41.218
12 Australia Calan Williams Italy Trident 10 1'41.313
13 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United Kingdom HitechGP 10 1'41.354
14 Japan Marino Sato Virtuosi Racing 12 1'41.374
15 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'41.509
16 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 12 1'41.529
17 United Kingdom Olli Caldwell Spain Campos Racing 12 1'41.752
18 Switzerland Clement Novalak Netherlands MP Motorsport 10 1'41.865
19 Denmark Frederik Vesti France ART Grand Prix 12 1'42.083
20 Turkey Cem Bolukbasi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 12 1'42.089
21 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing 4 1'42.880
22 Ayumu Iwasa Japan Nissan e.Dams 0  

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