F2 Red Bull Ring: Russell beats Norris to pole, cuts points deficit

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell took a second Formula 2 pole in a row at the Red Bull Ring, reducing Lando Norris's points lead to single figures

F2 Red Bull Ring: Russell beats Norris to pole, cuts points deficit

Russell was a level above the rest in Friday morning practice, and his pole time was just 0.145 seconds slower than Charles Leclerc's the year before despite the F2 using a new, heavier car for 2018.

Russell had already done enough for pole on his penultimate lap, but improved on his final flier by 0.033s to set a time of 1m13.541s.

Norris took second - his best qualifying effort since the second round in Baku - to lock out an all-British front row, but the gap between the two still fell from 13 to nine ahead of Saturday's main race.

His final lap ended in the runoff at Turn 9, although it did not look like he would challenge Russell with that effort, with McLaren junior Norris ending the session 0.2s off Russell and fractionally ahead of Carlin team-mate Sergio Sette Camara.

Russell's ART Grand Prix stablemate Jack Aitken recovered from contact with Roy Nissany in practice, for which they were awarded a point and two penalty points respectively, to take fourth - his best qualifying of the season.

Arjun Maini rewarded his Trident team for an engine change between practice and qualifying with his best starting slot of the season, after problems were identified with the unit he used in Paul Ricard where he issued an emotional radio message in the cool down laps.

Maxi Gunther was the third driver in a row on the grid to score his best qualifying result this season in sixth for Arden, ahead of Louis Deletraz's Charouz Racing System-run car that has been on the podium at three consecutive F2 rounds.

Alexander Albon had not qualified outside of the top three so far this season, but a wide moment at Turn 4 on his first flying lap stunted his progress.

He was limited to eighth, ahead of the usually further forward Prema-run car of Nyck de Vries.

Tadasuke Makino rounded out the top 10 for Russian Time, while his team-mate Artem Markelov repeated a scrappy practice performance with an identical moment in qualifying when he was launched airborne off the Turn 9 exit kerb.

He could only manage 18th on the grid, which jeopardises his fifth place in the points standings.

He qualified ahead of birthday boy Nicholas Latifi - who was the star of last year's feature race, driving through the field to challenge eventual winner Leclerc for victory - and Nissany.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1m13.541s -
2 Lando Norris Carlin 1m13.779s 0.238s
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1m13.823s 0.282s
4 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1m13.961s 0.420s
5 Arjun Maini Trident 1m13.999s 0.458s
6 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 1m14.014s 0.473s
7 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1m14.104s 0.563s
8 Alexander Albon DAMS 1m14.115s 0.574s
9 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m14.171s 0.630s
10 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.201s 0.660s
11 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 1m14.309s 0.768s
12 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 1m14.323s 0.782s
13 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1m14.330s 0.789s
14 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1m14.334s 0.793s
15 Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m14.363s 0.822s
16 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1m14.389s 0.848s
17 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1m14.400s 0.859s
18 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.589s 1.048s
19 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m14.700s 1.159s
20 Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 1m15.436s 1.895s

shares
comments
Haas F1 junior Arjun Maini gets new engine from Formula 2
Previous article

Haas F1 junior Arjun Maini gets new engine from Formula 2

Next article

Rolling safety car starts for Red Bull Ring, Silverstone F2 races

Rolling safety car starts for Red Bull Ring, Silverstone F2 races
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022
Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart Plus

Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart

DAMS has been one of the most prolific teams below Formula 1 since its foundation in 1989, launching 32 drivers into grand prix racing. Following the team's sale to ex-F1 racer Charles Pic, formally closing the book on the ownership of the Driot family, Autosport picks out its 10 best drivers during their spell with the team

FIA F2
Feb 27, 2022
How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1 Plus

How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1

After a disappointing 2021, Marcus Armstrong is returning to FIA Formula 2 for another shot at the title in 2022 with Hitech – this time without the backing of Ferrari. This year, he says, he’s ready to give it his all in a last-shot bid to reach Formula 1

FIA F2
Feb 19, 2022
The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream Plus

The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream

Faced with no options for 2021, Logan Sargeant’s Formula 1 dreams looked set to crumble. But a last-minute Formula 3 seat and a strong season secured him an F1 junior berth and a Formula 2 drive for 2022. He told Autosport how his transformative season has affected both his personality and his future

FIA F2
Jan 29, 2022